"Rockport is struggling as are its people. ..." by Linda Holzman

Rockport is struggling as are its people. My husband and I were talking about that just this morning. But in the face of all of the damage, he reminded me how much we, as a community, have to be grateful for.

The first thing he mentioned was the debris. Remember how horrible it looked? If not for the trucks that ran tirelessly for months, moving the debris away from our streets, we would still be digging out. What if there had been no program in place to move it? Can you even imagine the long term hell this community would have faced as individual homeowners, business owners, and a small community?

What if linemen had not flocked in from every state and restored power within days? Imagine if local power crews had not gotten assistance in rebuilding.

People and organizations from across the country heard about Rockport and all the damage to such a small community. They came. They suffered through intense heat, wielding chainsaws and straining muscles to help people they never saw before and will never see again get access to their properties. They brought food. They brought water. They spent their time and money to feed the locals for weeks after the storm. They showed kindness and compassion to a population that was dazed and confused. They offered hope to the hopeless. They shared God’s love with people who questioned, if only temporarily, God’s purpose. They comforted strangers who had lost so much.

Leaders in our town who suffered loss as well, rolled up their sleeves and started looking for assistance for an entire community when their own homes and families had suffered loss.

It’s been a year. Many have been able to make tremendous progress in the recovery. Others are still looking for answers. But we are experiencing an amazing rebirth. Where will it take us? No one knows yet. But what we do know is, during the worst of it, we were not forgotten.

We will never be the same. My prayer is that we will all look back someday and say, “I suffered loss and I was weak. But I survived. That made me stronger and more compassionate.”

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