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What Love Looks Like

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2-place-settings-lenox-brookdale-china-10-pcs-excellent-f802427e2b02030ac6b7f4134b33c284I really don’t spend a lot of time thinking about love and what it looks like.  This summer I had the occasion to do so.

My sister-in-law, Allene died unexpectedly this summer.  She was the wife of my youngest brother and she was like a friend to me. My brother was mostly devasted and lost.  They had been planning to move to another state.  My sister in law, in her usual neat and organized manner had been packing for weeks and had packed most of their home.

As I stated before my brother was almost immobilized with grief.  I went to his home in Miami to help him finish packing the house so that he could concentrate on his next steps.  As soon as I got there, I thought that I needed to cook him a meal. He hadn’t had a decent one since his wife died. Food is a great comforter and when I don’t know what to say or do, I cook.

I went to the kitchen in the small comfy home.  Everything in the kitchen was spotless.  Of course, Allene had packed everything already. The cabinets were completely empty.

Then, I saw on the corner of the countertop, some neatly stacked dishes.  Two plates, two coffee cups, two glasses and two sets of silverware.  It took several seconds before I could stop staring at them. Tears ran down my cheeks.  It hit me at that moment that my sisterfriend was gone.  More importantly though, was that this simple portrayal spoke so much about the love that she and my brother had.  Those dishes seemed sad but a very beautiful symbol of caring.

While I was there, I could not eat out of those dishes. I knew that they were not meant for me.  I also know that I when I think of love, I will always think of two plates, two coffee cups, two glasses and two sets of silverware.

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Blessing in the Flood

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floodI’m just taking a few moments right now to think about how blessed we are.
We have just experienced a 1000 year flood in Columbia, South  Carolina on October 5. It was amazing to see how quickly the situation went from bad to worse to devastating. People lost their lives. People lost everything they’ve worked for for many years. Some people’s lives will never be the same. Some families will never be the same.  My family and I are just so thankful to be alive. We are thankful that we did not suffer great loss.

All I can say is continue to pray for us. Although the storm is over, the devastation is not. Many people are still homeless after two months.  Although FEMA and other organizations came in to help, there are so many that will go under before that help that they need arrives.  Food and a place to stay are the immediate needs of individuals and families. But many of my counseling clients are still traumatized.  Some are still trying to figure out why they are depressed and anxious.  One women stated that when she went to open her front door, flood waters came rushing in.  All she could do was grab her children and run.   She is still dealing with the floos while others are just interested in moving on as quickly as possible.

We have a rallying cry:  South Carolina Strong!  It sounds good and give us hope while we try to find our new normal.  Mean while some of us are still experiencing the Great Flood of 2015.  The blessing is that we are still here to talk about it.

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