Worked on a project today that had to be the most humbling experience of my life. The project was helping a guy named Jimmy and his wife clear there belongings out of their home, which had been ravaged by the Hurricane Irma.
Driving in was gut wrenching. Jimmy's neighborhood had been devistated by the storm. Most homes were completely and utterly lost. But when I pulled up Jimmy greeted me positively, with a genuine smile and a healthy handshake, made all the more disarming ... by the obvious and significant progress he and his wife had already made on the clean up. Most of what they had owned had been taken outside and and thrown in a debris pile on the side of the street. Virtually nothing was salvageable, total loss.
We got straight down to business. Jimmy worked on mucking out one of the front rooms while myself and Jason tried to demolish one of the interior walls to access the master bedroom. Once in we pulled out a mattress and box spring, underneath which was a toilet bowl. We pulled out wheelbarrow loads of seaweed and styrofoam. We found kitchen supplies, a tv, a main component of the AC unit. All of it went out to the debris pile on the street. Jimmy was working no stop as well. We were walking back towards the house from one of the trips the pile when I asked him "how are you holding up, Jimmy?" He didn't stop, he didn't stutter, he simply smiled and answered matter-of-factly "What can you do? You just keep going." wedding outfits with crop top
And it was that simple. All of it. The storm, the evacuation, the stuff we accumulate and think we care about, the petty stuff we worry about day-in and day-out, all of this experience and these trials of the past two weeks come down to just one point, the one thing that we have to do. Even in the face of total loss all that any of us can do individually, and all that all of us have to do together is "just keep going."
To say Jimmy's attitude was infectious does not do it service. I left that project today feeling simultaneously unimportant and inspired. I felt humbled not by the power of the devastation of the storm, but by its inability to break the undaunted spirit of Jimmy, who is able to shrug off a dire situation and move forward.
But, as if to punctuate the sincerity of his spirit with an exclamation point, about an hour after I got home tonight I got a thank you text from Jimmy. It included a picture (last in the series) of him, standing in the bed of their truck, holding his dog in one arm, and pointing at a newly formed rainbow... Thank you Jimmy for being THE example that we should all take pause to follow.See More