It has been almost three months since tornadoes roared across the State of Alabama. Almost three months since hundreds of Alabamians lost their lives in one violent sweep across the state. Almost three months since entire neighborhoods and towns were virtually erased. Almost three months. For most of us, life has returned to normal. The FEMA deadlines have passed. The aftermath is no longer the lead story on the local evening news. The houndstooth ribbons signifying support of Tuscaloosa have gradually been gradually replaced in friends' facebook profile pictures.
Today, I went to Tuscaloosa for work. Tuscaloosa is where the heaviest loss of life occurred on April 27. When I first pulled on to McFarland Blvd, I couldn't really see much of a difference. But as I continued down the road, it was suddenly like I was in a different world. Where thriving businesses one stood, there were leveled parking lots.
Where fast food restaurants once attracted numerous college kids looking for a quick bit to eat. There was nothing but a chainlink fence and pieces of glass on the ground.
And where neighborhoods once stood, total devastation.
I opted not to go into the neighborhoods, because it felt too intrusive to do so.
The cleanup has begun, even though in some cases its hard to see the progress. But I was reminded today that for so many Alabamians, these 3 months have seemed like a lifetime, and there is yet a lifetime to go before things have any semblance of normal.
So today, I didn't stress about my budget, my power bill, the cost of gas or groceries or anything else for that matter. I just came home and counted my blessings.