As we go about our errands stopping here to buy that, stopping there to pay this bill or that, we see the same people each time. They are waiting on us, but we don’t really talk to them beyond being cordial and pleasant. I stopped by a local business today just as I do every week, but this time something different happened. I discovered that this young woman I see every week lives in Brookport, Illinois.
As some of you may remember, on November 17, 2013, an F3 tornado went through this small town that is right across the river from Paducah, Kentucky. She told me that the tornado moved her house off the foundation while she and her two children huddled under the stairs. When she emerged from her home, she discovered the debris resting against her house was a mobile home that had been thrown from across the street. The roof of her porch had collapsed and kept the mobile home from coming into her house and hitting the stairway they were under. Thankfully, they were unharmed. You may wonder what is so remarkable about her that makes me write this story. Well, it’s her attitude that is so remarkable.
She has been offered assistance by many people, churches, and agencies but has not accepted much help. She said that she has a job, insurance, and help from her family, so she doesn’t really need anything. Her insurance will take care of life’s necessities and she is able to stay in a hotel with her children until her house is rebuilt. When she heard they were giving out pre-paid cards and that she could get at least $500 because she has children, she said no. She said that money should go to people who do not have insurance, do not have much income or no income because they are the ones who need the most help.
With her house being torn down in a couple of days and all the trauma of the event still heavy on her heart, she is thinking about others and what they may need. This should not be remarkable, but with all the things that happen in this world and the way many migrate toward an “it’s all about me” attitude; I do find her remarkable, refreshing, and inspirational.
She said that before the tornado, she and the children loved going out to eat. But now after having no kitchen and having to eat all their meals out, they no longer enjoy that and just want home-cooked meals.
Sometimes we are so deep into our own thoughts and problems, we forget that others may be going through so much worse. She helped open my eyes and my heart. Here she is going through such a traumatic event and she is giving out blessings.
I thank God for bringing this remarkable woman into my life. And yes, she will be getting home-cooked meals and has a place to go for Thanksgiving dinner.Sylvia Thomas, AQS Office Administrator