Thursday, April 18, 2013

And Now West

It's been a rough week. 

Last night a fertilizer plant in West, TX exploded.  West is only 100 miles from here.  It's a town we've driven through many times.  It's known for its Czech heritage and kolaches.  Kolaches...the pastry I ate after each of my children was born, the food I baked while we were living in Montana to remind me of my beloved Central Texas. 

The death count is higher than Boston and likely to climb since there are people missing.  Local news sources are reporting about 170 injured.  Texas Task Force 1, an elite urban search and rescue team that is based here, has been sent to help search efforts in West.

And so we come back to: life is scary.  And there are no guarantees. 

It's one thing to say that.  To be thankful for each day, to appreciate what you have.  It's a different feeling when it's not abstract.  When it's a visceral knowledge because you've seen it up close and personal.  When you've had the experience of talking to someone as if it's just another day and then days or even hours later, they're gone, with no warning.  Once you know what that feels like, events like these can swamp you.  It's overwhelming to know that so many people are hurting that badly.  It's overwhelming to know that tomorrow it could be your family and to fear that loss. 

Different people handle those feelings in all sorts of different ways, some of them healthy and some rather self destructive.  As I mentioned in my Boston post, I still choose to look for the helpers.  Does it fix everything? No.  Does it keep these events from happening? No.  We can't control every variable in life, we cannot guarantee our safety no matter what we do.  Rather than letting the fear of that reality steal the joy from my life, I choose to look for the good, look for the humanity around me, and know that even in the worst possible scenarios, I would not be alone.  It's not easy.  It doesn't come naturally to me.  It is worth the effort though. 

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