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This weekend, I drove up to see our oldest son play baseball and surprise him. In order for me to do that, I needed to use an interstate that had been closed most of the summer due to the flooding from the excess releases of water from a dam further up the Missouri River. As much as I was anxious to see what the vegetation and road looked like after being drowned in water for months, I also was very optimistic. Don’t get me wrong, I saw dead trees and shrubs and where grass, weeds, and other native plants once grew, now there was a lot of dirt. A lot. There were farm fields that were still surrounded by a lake of water that had silos and other farm equipment that seemed isolated from any dry land. The life of those living things had been choked out of them. Yet, there is hope. As life does, it will flourish again. I saw the aftermath after devastation. I am reminded about a different kind of aftermath – the kind that comes after preservation of life. When people shine because they get their first job…when people succeed in accomplishing losing weight…when people give their hearts away…when they overcome a fear. People are awakened every day and consciously choose how they spend their day and those special people will leave an impression on you and the aftermath will be what is left. Sometimes, we feel like we have been swallowed by life with the people and events that have led you to today, where ISOLATION has become your friend. Your ONLY friend. But something or someone gets you out of that dark place and you start to see the light that can be you. You start to find HOPE and believe that it will be better. At times, I cannot find the words that I really want to say and I stumble through them with a garbled message that might be a little close to what I intended. It is easy to type words and easy to read them. It is more difficult to say them and hear them. You can create the aftermath that people see when you are not around. You can bring life into something that did not even know it was not living. People will still feel a connection to you that will never go away, despite distance or time. The outcome of what we all bring to this world…this one life in this one world…connects us always and will result in one thing. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou. When you impact others’ lives, you leave a little bit of you behind with them, and because of that, the aftermath that follows will change everyone else from that point forward.

Michelle Homme 2011 ©

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