One Step Forward

I went to visit my dear friend Barabra today. My task was to help her organize a group of boxes in a garage. But with all things, the day became much more than organizing.

You see, my friend and her family lost 95% of their worldly belongings to a Hurricane named Irene. Their house is situated in one of those “low lying” areas we kept hearing about on the Weather Channel. They had issues with previous storms but nothing like this one. The river behind their house rose and filled their living space with five feet of water. To give you a perspective, everything from your eye level down was flooded.

Volunteers and neighbors scrambled to help save what they could. All that was salvaged were clothes, papers and some family photos. All of these items were wet and muddy. They were stored in a neighbor’s garage for safe keeping.

Today I helped my friend separate, sort and organize those boxes. While the inner organizer in me wanted to throw it all out, the friend in me knew I needed to sit quietly and sort. I tried not to inject too much opinion; I really just took direction and made piles. We managed to make some progress by the end of the day.

In the past week, I have been amazed by my friend’s strength and fortitude. Her answer, “I just keep saying to myself, take another step forward.” We talked about how much better she felt having “gone through” those boxes. Even in her sadness, to be able to control one small thing like organizing a box made her feel that she had taken one more step forward.

Hurricane or not, isn’t that what life is all about.

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