Friday, November 18, 2011

After the Storm

There is a line in The Princes Bride that I just love, well many actually, but this one comes to mind for this post. Let me set it up: The Man in Black and Indigo are having an epic sword fight on the top of the Cliffs of Insanity. Back and forth they battle, and Indigo realizes his skills have been bettered asks, "Who are you?"

"No one of consequence," the man in black answers.

"I must know."

"Get used to disappointment."

And that is the line I love, "Get used to disappointment."

It is so true, life is too full of disappointments, and on a larger scale tragedies.
I am not making light of tragedies and life's storms. I've seen devastation first hand.

I've dug out from huge snow storms. I was on site after the Oklahoma City Tornado ripped through a section of the city. I saw 2x4's imbedded in trees, where all the grass was sucked out of the ground. Where the only thing left of someone's home was the foundation.
I was in New Orleans after Katrina. I was one of the first into a home after the flood waters receded. The odor of the mold was so bad... But we managed to salvage some photos and some keepsakes that had stayed above the flood waters. I helped to haul debris from the homes and tear out the molded sheet rock and prep houses to begin rebuilding. I helped to cut downed trees from homes and schools in Baton Rouge after Gustav came through. I've seen devastation first hand, and lent a hand in rebuilding.

Each of my children, and my dear wife have had traumatic events in their lives. Cut tendons, torn mouths, traumatic amputations, depression, and yes, even death. I share this to make a point.

The sun always comes back up. The storm passes. Life goes on.

We are then left with a choice. Do we let the disappointment, the tragedy, the set back defeat us, throw up our collective hands and say, "I'm done?" or do we dig in, reach deep down inside us and find that inner strength and move on?

I remember all the devastation Katrina left behind. There wasn't a place untouched by ruin. Trees were cut up and stacked along the road, trees and trees and trees! There wasn't a business sign that wasn't blown out. Bent polls, blue tarps on homes, and general mayhem and disruption the storm left behind.

However everyone rolled up their collective sleeves and dug in. Little by little things got better. Six years later things look better than before. True there are scars, but overall things are better.

I've recovered from my set backs. Others have too. The thing I've learned is this: The sun always comes out after the fury of the storm has passed. Hope comes with the sunrise. After a spring shower, the air feels fresh and smells clean. True, I've dug out after the snow storm, but things feel new. It is so peaceful outside in the cold air with the snow shovel. It is peaceful, time to think, and when I'm done the walkway and driveway look great. The sun dries out the cleared area, and things are "as they should be."

A friend's home burned to the ground. They rebuilt and have a better home than the one they lost. I lost a job, but the new jobs have taken me to places and done things I wouldn't have done if I had kept the job I had.

I read a book several years ago, The Greatest Salesman in the World. There was a section in it that said, "This too shall pass."

Great thought. No matter how bad things are, they will pass. Enjoy the good while it is with you as it too will pass. Life is full of ups and downs. Enjoy the good, and remind yourself the sun will rise after the storm passes.


Unknown said...

Thanks for steering me this way. This was a fantastic post-- My favorite line had to be the one at the end: "Enjoy the good while it is with you as it too will pass." A lot of people forget that, but pointing it out usually sounds so dismal, but you've but it out there in a way that's not just bearable, but important to hear.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dean, it was just what I needed :-)

Dean C. Rich said...


Glad to be of help. Life cycles up and down. I love taking a walk after rain storm. Everything seems so fresh and clean. The forest comes back after a fire rages. Sometimes you have to look really hard for that silver lining, but it is there if you look hard enough.


Dean C. Rich said...


Glad you liked the post. I'm happy it was helpful and timely.


Joey Francisco said...

What an appropriate and beautiful post before our Thanksgiving holiday. We have much to be thankful for. When we are facing adversity in our lives, it is the sunrise after the storm we must embrace. Thanks, Dean.

Dean C. Rich said...

You're welcome Joey.

Thanks for joining and following. Yes, keeping in mind what we have helps deal with the set backs life sends our way.