by Melanie Goble DVM
When is the last time you have sat down and thought about the good things that have happened to you or that you have helped happen? It is easy to get bogged down in negative talk and thoughts. A long time ago, I started looking for silver linings when things were tough. It is really hard to do when you are in the abyss, but if you practice when things “aren’t that bad,” then it does become a little bit easier.
When I was really little, I thought that the rays of sun shining through the clouds in the glowing shafts were souls being taken up to Heaven. That is when the silver lining theory began to make sense to me.
To me it didn’t matter if it was person or animal, that sight of the sun shining through the storm clouds signaled peace and happiness. It was also during that time that I learned to love the power and excitement of storms.
On July 18, 1996, a severe storm came through Wisconsin spawning tornadoes. On that July day, two twisters converged just outside of town resulting in an F5 tornado that ripped through the small town of just over 1,000 people. When the storm hit, the majority of the townspeople were at the baseball field for a Little League game and they all crowded into the bathrooms at the ball field on the other side of town. After traveling through the residential area of town, where almost 1/3 of the homes were destroyed or sustained heavy damage, it hit the Friday Canning Company which was leveled. Labels, checks, cans, and additional debris was later to be found in Michigan, hundreds of miles away.
Why is this a Thankful Thursday post, you may ask?
Well, there are a couple reasons. One, July 18, 1996 was a Thursday and amazingly, no one was killed in Oakfield and there were only a few injuries. It was initially thought that a dog belonging to one of the town’s church leaders was killed, when the house and church were both destroyed, but a few days later, it was found under a piece of plywood that had landed leaving a small cavity behind the washer and dryer. The pastor had tried to get the dog into the basement with him, but wasn’t able to before the tornado hit his home. A state of emergency was called and the National Guard deployed to aid in clean up and in helping the town. My family and I went to Oakfield in the weeks that followed to help with the clean-up efforts at the United Methodist Church. I remember clear as day the houses that were completely gone with the one next door having just a few pieces of siding missing. Even more so, I saw the love and caring that poured into that community from people all around. I saw neighbors helping neighbors. I saw people laughing and crying together, supporting each other. I saw the best of humanity.
So, I am thankful that even when tragedy strikes, humans can actually be amazing and come together.