Originally posted on Facebook HERE

Big, relentless storms ripped through Wisconsin last night. It was pouring rain, lightening and thundering when I went to bed at 10:30pm – and it just kept going… at 12:30am I looked at the clock and they were still pounding like crazy at that time. I’m not a big fan of storms at all, really have never liked them. I’m not sure if it’s just a basic fear of storms or the fact that ever since I can remember I’ve know that before I was born the brother I never knew was hit by lightening and killed on a golf course at age 14. My father’s first wife, mother, father and son all died in a six month period. I can’t even imagine what that was like for him. He was 48 when I was born, my mom (his second wife) was 44. I don’t think they thought they could have children. But they did! And I never doubted my fathers love for me. He was so happy to have another son. But all the while I grew up I knew that a few years before I was born Russell died in that storm. And whether that has anything to do with it or not, I don’t like storms. Outside or inside storms. I’m often seen as the person who will take on the tough job in an organization when it needs to be done – firing someone, or giving them information they don’t want to hear, disciplining, etc… but I don’t like it at all. Confrontations make me very uneasy. One of the things I often hear when we’re in the middle of a stormy/rainy day is we “really need the rain”. It’s a common way to view outside storms. We know they’ll pass, and leave behind something that benefits us. But they can be scary and unsettling when you’re in the middle of one. And some storms do severe physical damage as well, and even kill people. Fires, hurricanes, tornadoes can wreak havoc on entire communities. Hard to see what’s good in that when you’re sorting through the rubble. One thing we know for certain, though – there will be storms. No matter what we do, where we go, or how much we try to insulate ourselves from it… there will be storms. Many of them will leave us stronger and better than we were before we got through them. Some will tear our lives apart entirely. We will lose loved ones. We will get news we don’t want to hear. We will have to watch our pets come and go. Our hearts will hang heavy many, many times – it can’t be avoided. But storms do serve a purpose as well. How can we truly appreciate the beauty of every moment, and how little time we really have, without knowing that it can all be taken away in an instant? Storms will come and go. People will come and go. Our entire lives will come and go… and getting through the storms can make you stronger, wiser and more loving – or bitter, angry and hateful. That choice is left for us to decide. I really do not like storms at all. They scare me. But when they’re over I feel so grateful for even being here and getting the opportunity to make the most out of whatever time I have. And that choice – how much time we have – is usually not up to us to decide. How can we love more today? How can we give more? How thankful are you to be here at all? Time is the currency of life. Spend it wisely 🙂

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