Together we will come out stronger

Published 12:53 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2017

By Chris Kovatch

Things have been interesting at our home post-storm as I am sure they been in every house in our area. We were fortunate to be spared from the flooding, however, sewage back up is another story and one I will spare you from. All I will say is my children were on their best behavior to avoid clean up duty while the sewer service was backing up. But in the grand scheme of things we came out better than most. For the first week or so after the storm we had a total of 6 adults, 9 kids, 4 dogs and 1 cat under our roof. As things have normalized our occupancy has decreased to just our family and my brother’s family.

What could easily be and by all accounts should be an extremely stressful time has turned out to be not as bad as expected. Mind you, it has taken some adjusting on my part to get used to a baby being back in the house, but all in all, it has been a good experience.

Most nights we sit down at our table with enough food to feed a small army and talk about the day. Of course conversation always includes the current state of home repairs, but stories from school and work are just as prevalent. Our free time at home is spent pretty evenly split between activities that require electricity and ones that just require you to be outdoors. Bike riding, soccer, and drawing with chalk fill up our evenings. In any spare time that exists, my brother and sister-in-law are wrapping up the repairs to their home. It’s easy to see everyone trying to inch back towards whatever ‘normal’ is going to be.

You see while the storm did bring destruction, it also caused us to slow down. While we were flooded in and without utilities we had to work together to ensure basic needs were being met. It also made us realize everything we had to be thankful for. Too often we take our friends, family, and possessions for granted. It is when something unexpected happens that causes us to pause and consider what we have been blessed with. A friend of mine, who is much younger than me, passed away unexpectedly on Monday after a brief illness. This caused me to pause and think. That could easily be me and my family having to deal with this type of loss. If it were to happen, am I proud of the life I have lived. Did I live it to its fullest? My intent isn’t to be morbid, but rather to assess the path I am on.

So I will gratefully accept the time with my niece and nephew (I guess I will include my brother and sister in law in that group too) as they stay in our home as a gift. I will use each time we sit down for dinner as a time to build memories of being together as a family. I will show my kids that even though destruction is unfortunately a fact of life, how we respond and help others can totally change your outlook. I have seen some amazing things happen in Orange County over the past month and it makes me proud to live here. Stay focused and help others when you can. Together we will come out stronger because of it.