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Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


I’m still standing. I’ve never been the one to shy away from change but lately, I’ve had changes come at me fast and furious. I’ve had the wind knocked clear out of my sail on more than one of occasion during the past few weeks to the point where I wanted to scream from the rooftops! “Stop The World I Want To Get OFFF!” At some point in ourselves, we all say enough is enough.

The funeral: My stepmom’s funeral was 3 weeks ago, though it was hard my not to physically offer support to my brothers and sisters during their time of grief. We have connected on a new level since their mother’s passing. We’ve always been fairly close and over the past few years, my sister and I have really bonded. I feel more deeply for her because she was very close to her Mum.

The Hurricane: In the midst of everything that was already going on, Hurricane Dorian made landfall in The Bahamas as a category 5 storm, packing winds in excess of 185 miles per hour it left total destruction in its wake, devastating the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama. For a few days in Abaco, my sister and cousin were unaccounted for. Then the videos and photos of the devastation starting making its rounds on social media,  the days that followed were filled with worry about their safety as well as the safety of all those who were affected by the storm.  The feeling of the unknown is worse than knowing. Then finally, 5 days after the storm passed, we got word that they were all safe. Having to escape their homes after the roof began to detach and fleeing in their vehicles my sister and cousin were made it to a shelter. My brother was able to find refuge in the home of one of his friends. It was a huge relief finding out they were all safe. Despite our happy news, there were friends who still had family missing some of whom are still accounted for. There is much to rebuild, many lives to mourn for and many lives yet to restore.

The Move: Yes, we finally found a place. It has been four long arduous months of searching, viewing, phoning, then finally we had a property serendipitously falling into our laps. Though it didn’t satisfy everything on my checklist nevertheless it was an enormous relief to have found a place. After that everything went into warp drive after that, in the space of little under two weeks, the application had been submitted, viewing was set, contract signed, movers arranged. It was like a whirlwind that completely swept off my feet. This would be my third move in five years, thought this move was no way near as big or hectic as my move from The Bahamas to Belgium, then Belgium here. I had forgotten how stressful moving could be. The packing, transporting and now the unpacking. Despite it all, I’m just happy to be in my home.

Life is a series of events, sometimes unfortunate, sometimes favourable and its easy to become immersed in those unfortunate events because it’s more comfortable to drown in the chaos than to swim against the current. What really kept me going was knowing that there were better days ahead. I had a new home to unpack. My family have weathered the storm and now trying to get their lives back on track. My brothers and sister have moved into the process of healing after a life-changing loss. For that, I’m thankful and constantly living in gratitude.

 

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This is my submission to Debbie’s Forgiving Friday series, where she writes about and invite others to share their thoughts on  Forgiveness, Self-Love and Personal Growth.

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©Etta  D. Richards

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