It still seems surreal to think back to that day only a year ago. None of us knew what was to come. None of us….
In fact, we were hosting a garage sale with a friend and taking the kids to a birthday party, not knowing that only hours later people would be losing both their homes and their lives because of this deadly storm.
Here’s how it started in our own backyard:
While we may have been slow to comprehend what was happening around us, it did not take long to discover the devastation. Our church, Crosspoint, delayed the opening of our new Bellevue campus to mobilize volunteers into our community….one of the hardest hit in all of Nashville.
While the kids and I were not able to volunteer inside the devastated homes, we found other ways to help and meet daily needs: organizing supplies, helping with office needs and shuttling items to and from the disaster site. The images we saw immediately after the storm of our own friends’ homes were surreal:
What hit even closer to home was driving through the neighborhood we had just moved out of, knowing we too could have been one of the many families who had lost everything:
Last year, our news event was shared with others: the Times Square bomber and the BP oil spill in the Gulf. This year, it seems history is once again repeating itself. People around the world are waking up to the news that Osama bin Laden had finally been killed by American troops, nearly 10 years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In addition, hundreds are still missing and without homes after the devastating tornadoes that hit Alabama and much of the SouthEast.
Still, the one thing that remained true and resounding last year will be said this year: Nashville was and is one of the most resilient communities ever in the face of disaster and continues to be forward-looking, neighbor-helping and thankful for what we have rather than grieving what we’ve lost.
Of course, it helps when we have so much to be grateful for and so many who have come alongside to help in our time of need. In addition to all the people that came together within our community and across the country, many local celebrities, including Amy Grant and our friends from Tenth Avenue North, put on the “Love Your Neighbor” Benefit Concert. Amy also had some interesting advice to share with flood victims:
*Two weeks after the flood last year, I recorded my thoughts in my Nashville Flood Manifesto.
*Four months after the flood, the historic Grand Ole Opry re-opened on September 2nd with a “Spirit of Nashville Day“.
*And of course a short six months after the flood that completely devastated so much of the iconic Gaylord Opryland resort & hotel, it celebrated its Grand Re-Opening on November 15, just in time for all the Christmas festivities! My husband and I were lucky enough to be part of the Opryland Grand Re-Opening weekend and it once again reminded us of why we’re so proud to live in this town!
So much has happened in this past year, but amidst everything else that is going on in the world today, I wanted to take the time to stop and remember where we were a year ago and how far we’ve all come…together.
We are Nashville!!!