Thursday, March 9, 2017

I’ve never been much of a fan of storms. When I was a little girl, a family friend of ours lost his life after being struck by lightning while fishing with another friend, who was seriously injured. I remember attending Kyle’s funeral and seeing his family and friends, and my own family, suffer a
loss that would have an impact on me for the rest of my life.

I think I was around a first-grader at the time, but I remember clearly how angry I was that this had happened to someone who, probably fairly recently, I saw in my own home. This was the first experience I had with death I can remember, and it was because of the uncontrollable.

In the years that have passed, there’s not a storm that goes by that Kyle doesn’t come to my mind. With every roll of thunder and every lightning strike, I cringe. My heart races when I hear warning sirens, and I get goosebumps when I can feel a shift in the atmosphere. I remember Chuck, who was with Kyle at Lake Jacomo, describing getting struck by lightning like getting hit with a baseball bat across the back: words I have never forgotten and I hear echo in my ears when I see light shows overhead.

Living in this part of the country, we are certainly no strangers to the fury of the skies above us. As we approach the 60th anniversary of the devastating tornado that took many lives in our community, we all tend to be a little apprehensive when it comes to storms.

As we clean up tree limbs and get our power restored from Monday night’s weather, we are reminded of the pathway we call home. Mother Nature lets us know that, sometimes, we are not in control and our world; our lives, can be impacted and change in an instant.

When the clouds above me swirl, the sky brightens with electricity and the thunder claps around me, I am brought right back to that little girl who remembers being told someone she looked up to had died at the hands of the weather. It is powerful, it is mighty, it is uncontrollable and unpredictable. I am constantly in awe of it, but I will continue to keep my comfortable distance.