On Hurricane Irma, John Morales and Gratitude


Finally the day arrived. After a long week doing what common sense, authorities, meteorologists and those who have already experienced hurricanes recommend to protect my family and home from hurricane Irma, the largest and most destructive cyclone on record in the United States, I can finally sit down, calmly, to write.

Irma, Hurricane Irma, Beach. miami beach, waves, surfer, vanessa guillén drija, drija photography
Photo Vanessa Guillén-Drija | Drija Photography

A few hours for hurricane Irma’s arrival to the Florida coast, I can finally sit to do what I like best. I can’t believe it. I haven’t stopped since last Monday, when I came from a wonderful Labor Day Weekend in Lauderdale by The Sea, and was surprised by the news that hurricane Irma, an unprecedented  cyclone in size and strength, was coming to the sunshine state.

Now, when the first downpours fall and the branches of the trees shake nervously with the first bursts Irma’s winds, there is nothing left but to wait —and pray that it will continue to drift westward and disappear into the ocean— I can finally write.

This week I found the antidote against anguish and uncertainty is faith and gratitude and that is why today, I want to thank:

  1. First to God because his Will does not take us where his Grace does not protect us.
  2. For the blessing of being able to live in a country that is built on two indestructible pillars: the compassion and solidarity of its people. That compassion and solidarity translate into humongous logistical operations —by federal, regional and local governments, as well as non-governmental organizations and businesses—, when it comes to foreseeing damages, saving lives, assisting those in need, and rebuilding when, after the storm it comes the calm.
  3. For the leadership of Governor Rick Scott who this week has been omnipresent through the state of Florida, from coast to coast and in every county, without alarm, but firmly, making us feel that we are not alone and that we have authorities we can trust because they know what they are doing.
  4. For Mariale Pulgar, my Bible in everything Doral and Miami-Dade, and who guided me in this process of preparing my family for the worst hurricane in history, with her infinite common sense, engineer’s brain, mom’s heart and faith to the test.
  5. For my crush, as my children call him: the one and only one John Morales, NBC6 chief meteorologist, for giving me the power of information. John, you and your team of meteorologists ROCK and so, as Mariale would say, “we all have a crush with you.”
  6. For my two children, the pillars that sustain me, who have grown in difficulty, do not cease to amaze me with their aplomb and deep sense of what it means to be family and remind me every day that I must be doing something well.
  7. For my family of origin, my mother and my brother, who, as if they don’t have enough with the situation in Venezuela, care about us and show it to us daily.
  8. For my girlfriends who do not care where or how busy they are, they always manage to let me know that they are with me no matter what, sometimes in the form of angels as my dear Patty Argibay who watch over me and my two boys proving that God has many ways to provide.
  9. For my former husband William Lloyd Massie, thanks to whom I have flashlights and batteries, and no matter the distance or that life made us apart is always there to watch us, with his overdose of optimism, reminding me, when things get ugly, that everything is possible and impossible only takes more time.
  10. For my clients who understood that I needed this week to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best: when this passes, I’ll come back stronger.

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