hurricanes and heart attacks

“Storm Landscape” by Franz von Stuck

The mixture of the calm with the storm is not haphazard. Quite the contrary. My growth is at the center of each. I will trust its message.
~ Karen Casey
(Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women)

It’s been an unsettling week, to say the least. We’ve been keeping a wary eye on Hurricane Earl since Sunday, hoping it stays on its predicted course and brushes past us to the east tomorrow with minimal damage. The tropical storm watch was upgraded to a tropical storm warning today at noon. Cape Cod is now under a hurricane warning and for some reason I have a desire to go there.

Sometimes it seems that all there is to talk about is the remarkable weather. Yesterday and today we’ve had a heat index of 100º. Today many towns nearby are letting their schools out early because of the heat. The weed pollen levels are “very high.” And there is an air quality alert to boot. The advancing storm should be eliminating all these problems when it arrives. I don’t usually watch the news at noon, where I learned all these bits of information, but I was curious about the hurricane.

Any threat of hurricanes stirs up frightening memories for my father and his sisters. The Great Hurricane of 1938 descended on my father without warning as he was walking home from high school in the afternoon. Fierce winds were snapping branches off trees and other trees were being uprooted as he struggled to keep walking. According to Wikipedia it “remains the most powerful, costliest and deadliest hurricane in New England history.”

When Dad got home he discovered that his mother wasn’t home, only his father, two of his sisters, and a baby nephew. At the height of the storm they were all trying desperately to keep walls from crashing in on them, bolstering them up with heavy furniture and the weight of their bodies. Still, the hardest part was not knowing if his mother was safe, and his sister’s husband, too.

After the storm passed by Dad’s mother returned home. She had decided it would be safer to stay at the neighbor’s house where she happened to be when the hurricane struck. Auntie’s husband was caught at work in New London which had flooded with the storm surge, so he stayed there to help rescue people. Not knowing what had become of him for several days was hard for the family to endure.

Well, thanks to modern technology we can worry a little less about the storm coming tomorrow. And modern technology was at work for Tim’s family this week as well.

On Monday Tim’s younger brother, age 51, had a heart attack. He lives overseas in Luxembourg so we found out about it on Tuesday. It was such an emotional jolt. Since Tuesday Tim’s been trying to make contact with him at the hospital using Skype and finally this morning they connected and had a long conversation, comparing notes, etc. This is still more evidence of a genetic factor at work here, their maternal grandmother died of a heart attack at age 54 – the age Tim was when he had his – and their great-grandmother died of a heart attack at age 52. Tim has four more younger brothers and it’s pretty sobering contemplating the possibilities, although we can all be very grateful for the advances in medicine that no doubt have saved two lives so far.

Our inner selves understand the journey; a journey destined to carry us to new horizons; a journey that promises many stormy seasons. For to reach our destination, we must be willing to weather the storms. They are challenges, handpicked for us, designed to help us become all that we need to be in this earthly life.
~ Karen Casey
(Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women)

4 thoughts on “hurricanes and heart attacks”

  1. Oh dear – that’s all so worrying for you and your family. I’m sorry. I hope the storm’s passed you by (I find it difficult to keep track of all the terrible weather that keeps hitting this planet) and that things get back to normal quickly. I hope Tim’s brother’s condition improves quickly.

    1. Thank you, Val, things are looking much brighter! The hurricane weakened and drifted by without causing any major problems. Tim feels a lot better now that he’s talked to his brother a couple of times and offered him the benefit of his advice and experience. 🙂 (I think it’s a big brother thing…)

  2. Hello Barbara, we have been watching the storm and hoping that it moves by you as predicted. Having always lived on the west coast, sometimes north and sometimes south, I can’t say that I’ve ever experienced a storm like this. High winds at times, sometimes hurricane force but not an actual hurricane. Earthquakes…yes, although blessedly not a BIG one. Yet.
    I hope all goes well with Tim’s brother. And also greatly appreciate the reminder that “our inner selves understand the journey”.

    1. Thank you, Colleen, we’re happy to have been spared the fury of what was once Earl. I liked the headline in the local paper this morning, “Earl Who?” I’m not sure which I’d rather live through, a major earthquake or a major hurricane… Thankfully I’ve never had to experience either, but the hurricane my dad and my aunt went through traumatized them both. I hope your luck holds on with earthquakes. I needed the reminder about the stormy parts of the journey, too.

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