• Jill O. Patrick

Riding Out The Storm

Born in Miami Beach, Florida and raised in South Florida, I can recall many times and occasions that our family would go to the beach or parks for picnics, running and playing, walking around barefoot, splashing and swimming in the warm and brightly lit sun.

Memories of my childhood often take me back to those days where frolicking in water was just a natural part of our lives. (Photo above: me with our father and my older siblings, circa 1969 or 1970). I also remember storms and hurricanes that would come as Mother Nature set her sights on neighboring cities and countries near and far from where I lived; some causing panic to those people who were affected.

This morning when I woke up, news of Hurricane Florence dominated the headlines. Hurricane Florence is a storm that has been highly anticipated to cause destruction of historical proportions to parts of North Carolina, the state where we we live.

A good number of people that I know, including my husband and I, have opted to "ride out the storm." This is a saying that I have heard on more than one occasion. Recently, the phrase "riding out the storm" has crossed my mind on several occasions, and in some instances has found its way into conversations. Through a search on YouTube I learned that there is also a poem and several songs with that same title.

Oftentimes in life when difficulties arise, including the loss of loved ones and friends, hurricanes and storms, we are often faced with choices before and afterwards. Will I muster up the strength needed to see me through a situation or crisis, or will I sit this one out, unsure and uncertain if I have what it might take to help or bring me through?

Yesterday I saw a meteorologist speaking with a man who resided in Oak Island, North Carolina. The heading for the segment was "Riding Out The Storm." The man being interviewed had decided not to evacuate his home as warnings had been sent to all persons residing in the area over the past few days.

As I've prepared for some storms and watched others from afar, thoughts of the open seas in my head have taken me back to the early days of beach and ocean watching and those occasions when nature seemed a close and comforting friend. I've been reminded of special moments with loved ones and friends and memories of previous relaxed and calmed seas.

The above photos are of my sister and two of our closest friends at the Pompano Beach in Florida 2015, and me with my husband Darryl in Virginia Beach Spring Break 2015. As we wait and watch Hurricane Florence's strength have an effect on many ends, we've done all that we could to have on hand various necessities.

Like the literal storms, hurricanes and other disasters that affect our lives, there are unexpected events, moments, tragedies or situations that may catch us off guard. During those times, we can resolve to be strong and do all we can to weather those times. When we "ride out the storm," there can be things we learn during the process. We can take with us the knowledge that we made it through and acknowledge our own strength. We can look forward to the smoother days that are bound to come. We can treasure the memories we choose to hold onto. We know that the sun, blue skies and calmer weather will return.

May our positive thoughts and prayers give us strength and hope in all that is good as we "ride out the storm" until it has come to an end. Storms don't last forever.

Take good care of yourself,