Counting our blessings

Published 10:18 pm Monday, May 23, 2011

With more than 115 people dead in Joplin, Mo., following a devastating tornado there on Sunday, and with fresh thoughts still of the death and destruction wrought by another outbreak of twisters in Alabama earlier in the month and by the ones that tore through Virginia and North Carolina in April, it’s hard not to think back on the situation that many of the folks in Suffolk found themselves in more than three years ago.

Hospitals in the area treated dozens of people with injuries from the storm. Most of a neighborhood was wiped out in the tornado, along with the better part of a separate village, and many businesses were destroyed, as well.

Still, though, nobody was killed in the Suffolk tornado of 2008. And whether in the past we appreciated the odds against that fact or not, it’s hard to watch the images or hear the audio from Missouri without being stricken by the raw power they reveal and then the realization of how blessed we were here in Suffolk three years ago to be spared any loss of life.

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To be sure, lives were turned upside down. But that which is turned upside down can once again be flipped rightside-up. Precious possessions were lost forever, but precious lives were saved. People were able to mend without dealing with widespread death or even serious injuries.

Today in Joplin, Mo., those who share the experience of having lived through a tornado are picking up the scattered pieces of their lives in the face of the grief of having lost friends, family, neighbors and business acquaintances to the whirlwind.

We pray for their recovery, and we take yet another opportunity to count our blessings.