In the light of day after the storm, a friend of mine wrote, “In all things, give thanks.”
This heartfelt message resonates, especially now in the month of Thanksgiving. As this issue went to press, it was just after Hurricane Ian passed through Naples and Southwest Florida. The storm charted a path of widespread flooding, misery, and the most deaths in Florida from any modern day storm.
And many of us who lived through this did not even know the extent of the damage and losses immediately afterward as power and internet services were out for days or even weeks. Whenever we reconnected, all not immediately impacted were stunned to learn of the utter devastation to homes and cars, businesses, landmarks and memories.
This massive storm brought life in Naples, as we know it, to a screeching halt. But, as with any ending, the next chapter will begin anew, ready or not. And yes! We are ready. We can face this together.
All of this may be akin to a play told in countless seamless acts of grace, grit and gratitude:
• A new day to awaken
• People supporting you on this unforeseen journey, including those traveling in service to our community, like the utility lineman
• First responders and even “ordinary” citizens participating in rescues, risking their lives to bring others to safety and healing from trauma
• Countless essential workers and volunteers providing water, food, shelter and other necessities on a non-stop basis since the storm ended
Friends and relatives from our hometowns and even strangers from around the world are checking in, offering messages of encouragement and love. Many are providing financial and other support to local organizations helping rebuild our community.
Neapolitans have suffered losses, some incalculable. All of us are weary, but we can and must rest and in so doing, find energy and reason to be hopeful and grateful for what lies ahead. Even if the scenery is far different than what we ever envisioned.
We can offer a kind and reassuring word to a neighbor, a helping hand to a stranger, and a hug to a loved one. In an overwhelming moment, any of these actions might be grounding, and at the same time, refresh our sense of purpose and optimism.
And, each of us may need support and guidance, too. Act on the impulse to reach out and ask for help. We are all connected to this community and each other and even after a storm of this magnitude, there are resources to help.
For this I am grateful for life in Naples.
SOMETHING TO SHARE?
Email Karen Coney Coplin at NaplesKCC@gmail.com or follow her on Instagram @Naplesbythenumbers as she shares resources for post hurricane
assistance and other encouraging words and images.