At least 23 people are reported dead after a large tornado ripped through Lee County, Alabama on Sunday. AL.com verifies that more remain missing amidst the debris left in the tornado’s wake.
This is life.
That’s not meant to sound callous in any way. Rather, it’s a reminder to us all to appreciate what we have been given. Every day we are provided with stories of those who are no longer among us, but typically those stories are of aged people who have been encountering illness, like actress Katherine Helmond.
In reality, death can take us all, at any time. “Doc” Thompson, a pundit to whom I would once occasionally listen, died last month while jogging at age 49. He was struck by a train. I had developed ill will toward him because of his abandonment of all things he had once claimed to believe, but I did not wish him dead. Rather, I hoped he would find his way back to simple decency. He did not have that opportunity. On the other side of things, Andrew Breitbart died at age 43 in 2012, long before he had the temptation to cast aside his principles for political expediency. Political action did nothing to stave off death’s hand.
Politics gives us a few things. First, it involves us in the world around us and keeps us occupied. Second, it provides us with a way to enact positive change on the world around us and thus make life better for those we care about. Third, it provides a way to honor those who came before us and the ideas for which they fought and sometimes died. Last, it allows camaraderie and a sense of community. All of these are things I value highly. I find it hard to overemphasize my appreciation for the readers and contributors here, or for the associations I developed at other places like Positive Heartbeat, The Right Scoop, Lucianne, and Shocklines. Some of those relationships have since soured while some have not; all of them are still prized by me.
At the bottom of every article I write for TNB is a statement that indicates I am father to an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Not a single day goes by that I am not thankful for them both, nor does any pass where I fail to recognize that it might be the last for one or all of us. I want more time with them, which should be one of the fundamental goals of us all: to want more time with the ones we love. That’s the easy goal, however, and it comes with a corollary: to appreciate the time we have already been given. If I were to die today, I would go thankful for the years I’ve been blessed with a beloved family, appreciated friends, and even the pets I’ve been lucky enough to have beside me throughout my years.
It is my hope that every one of the 23 who died in the Alabama tornado on Sunday was similarly blessed.