Are You Thankful for Tornadoes this Thanksgiving?

Are you thankful for people who help you during challenging times?Are you thankful for people who help you during challenging times?

Every year at Thanksgiving I write an article about what I’m thankful for. This year is no exception. Over the past year, many things have changed in my life. These events could not have been predicted at the beginning of the year, but they happened, and they have again changed the path of my life.

As always, I’m thankful for friends and family.

My clients and partners make my life interesting and fascinating. It’s never boring!  But the past 12 months have added a whole new group of people to be thankful for. Let’s get started!

I returned to a front-line role unloading trucks at Walmart for eight weeks on second shift. I kept my day job as a consultant. I even convinced a client to underwrite my adventure. I worked my way through college unloading trucks and doing photojournalism. I thought I had left the unloading behind me, but my life didn’t work out that way.

I’m thankful that I’ve kept in shape over the years. I’m thankful for my parents and past generations who passed on such healthy and resilient genes. My wife who finds new ways to keep me eating healthy food. Not always an easy task with my travel and work schedule.

I lost 14 pounds over the time I worked at Walmart. I didn’t lose this much weight when I worked with first responders or the military. I’m wondering if there might be a Walmart diet book in my future? I’m thankful for the people who keep our stores stocked and food on the shelves. For many of us, we just take this for granted. Next time you’re shopping for groceries this holiday season, thank the people who make it possible.

While working two jobs, I discovered I had a large kidney stone. One that caused significant pain and discomfort in everything I did. I discovered I really could go on only several hours of sleep at night.  I had the best people taking care of me. They all worked very hard to get me the best medical treatment possible.

I went into the emergency room at University Hospitals on Sunday morning after the stone started to move. The stone was quickly found, it wasn’t that hard to find with all the new equipment I’ve worked on over the years. That and the fact it was the size of the tip of my pinky finger. I’m thankful for the medical team that advised me on how to deal with it, and then got to work to get me that care.

I had surgery, the doctor told me I was in great shape. His team made me feel great and even sent me a card signed by all the people involved in the procedure. I’m thankful to Geauga/University Hospitals in Chardon, Ohio who took care of me throughout the process. They are the best! Even when I wasn’t.

Now to the tornado, or should I say the three tornadoes that came through our community. If you’ve ever been through a natural disaster you know how challenging, they can be. This storm came up quickly and destroyed many homes and farms. Over 50 telephone poles broken within three-quarters of a mile of our home. Hundreds of trees were leveled like they were chopsticks. Homes lifted off their foundations. Barns destroyed!

Now here’s what I’m thankful for. My neighbors and friends who went door to door with me to make sure people were okay. Our teams spread out quickly, less than 10 minutes after the tornadoes went through we could make sure the people who needed help got it. The damage was so extensive first responders were unable to get into our community initially. The community responded.

The following morning when cleanup started, all roads were unpassable. All the neighbors began clearing the roads of wires and debris. People helped each other. Crews moved from street to street clearing out areas, so the power company could get in to begin putting up cables to restore our electricity. I’m grateful for the crews that came in from all around the country.

Then there’s the crew from Bayshore Campgrounds of Andover, Ohio. They heard that our roads were unpassable, so they came here to help. They brought in their own heavy equipment and they were amazing. They did things that would have taken us weeks to accomplish. They did it simply because they could. There were many people who came to our rescue, because they wanted to help. I’m thankful for the people who helped when they didn’t have to! Their actions remind us that people caring for each other is the key to a successful community.

Finally, I’m grateful for the first responders and utility crews who came in and got things done. Within four days our power was restored and there were no injuries or deaths.  As we speak, they are working on returning phone and internet service to our areas.

Finally, I’m thankful to you, our readers who support our programs and blogs throughout the year. You make me leap out of bed knowing together we are changing our world. Happy Thanksgiving!

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