A year ago yesterday was when the tornado wiped out a lot of my town, including the hospital. This site was where they had the remembrance ceremony. I’m sure a google search will lead you to much more information than I could give here, but at the end of all the politicians speaking they broke ground for the new medical center.
I went to the event, in my powerchair of course. Broken foot and all. My kids helped me make a sign for the chair:
I also wrote the motto of our town on my t-shirt:
It was fun. Funny. Sad. Several people mentioned my signs, one of whom was a woman with Parkinson’s who had lost her home in the tornado. She wanted to tell me thanks, for being strong, or at least trying to be, and for showing the world. There were a lot of news organizations from around the world, many who took pictures of me and my signs. I even got interviewed by our local Fox News station. This was all great, but the reason I’m writing about it because I feel like a fraud.
You see, sometimes I have moments of strength, optimism, hope; but I feel weak now. Alone. Sad. I want to make a difference. I want to help. Show people that life’s circumstances don’t have to get you down. Unfortunately, that’s not the whole truth. Some things about life suck. Sometimes you can feel strong for a while, then you get home and realize how weak and pathetic you are. Why can’t I just feel strong all the time?
Thankfully, strength isn’t the only thing that matters. When the tornado hit, and many times since, I’ve felt incredibly weak, but maybe the weak times are when other people get a chance. To lift you up, to support and encourage; or to tear you down even more. I guess the choice is up to each individual.
Strength can be used to push someone around, or bend them to your will. It can also be used to pull someone up. I hope I make the right use of my strength when I have it. I hope you do too.