Kindness Has Lasting Power
On April 29, 2014, it started raining in northwest Florida. It rained and rained, including 6 inches in just one hour, with the most unbelievable lightning display of my lifetime. It rained for 24 hours, accumulating to two feet by the second morning. When I looked across the street at the church, it appeared to rise from the middle of a lake. Water gushed over the lot next door into the bayou. Our driveway which is raised had collapsed, with a corner where my husband often parked his little Mini nothing but a hole. The Mini would easily have slipped into it. Hundreds of houses had feet of water inside, with snakes and other critters floating in to add to the misery. Our house was OK, so at least we were able to get out to deliver donated food to residents who were trying to sort through their belongings and save what they could.
On the first anniversary of the flood, our minister told the story of a woman who lived alone whose house had flooded. Who came to her rescue? Marines who are stationed at Naval Air Station, Pensacola! They brought boxes and helped her pack up what was salvageable until there was no more they could do, then moved on to help others. She missed them after they left. Weeks later, while going through the boxes they had taken to a storage unit for her, she found one with writing all over it. It was the Marines at work again. “We’re so glad we could help you,” they had written, and every one of them had signed the box. She was so delighted that she cut out the side with the writing, had it framed, and hung it in a place of honor in her home to remind her of the kindness of strangers. It continues to warm her heart.