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LETTER: Counting our blessings

Vehicles sit buried in downtown St. John’s Sunday following Friday’s record-breaking storm. Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Vehicles sit buried in downtown St. John’s Jan. 19 following the record-breaking storm on Jan. 17. — Telegram file photo

I put this up on the NL Snowmageddon 2020 Information Center Facebook page just to give people some perspective, so I thought I would share it with you as well.

I apologize for the length of this but when I came home from work last Thursday, Jan. 16, I never in a million years thought that I would be still in the house seven days later due to a state of emergency.

Now, for anyone who knows me, I really hate winter, but during this storm I was able to get a lot done by being home. My house is spotless, laundry is all done, lots of dishcloths knit, and I got the time to cook a good supper every night for myself and my husband. I have also brought supper down to the student who lives downstairs by himself. I’m getting a little bored being home.

All the health-care personnel, the contractors that are clearing our roads and the military, and the thousands of volunteers who are doing whatever they can to make this situation as easy as possible for all of us deserve our thanks, respect, gratitude and appreciation.

We were fortunate that we only lost power for a few hours, we had food and we were safe and sound. I know that people were frustrated about the state of emergency — not being able to go where they want, not being able to go to work and also about losing days of pay. I am, too, and I will probably cry when I get my paycheque, but most of us are extremely lucky. You hear stories that really hit you.

My 87-year-old mother in law was snowbound, the snow was covering her doors, so we risked getting a fine and went over to shovel her door so she had a way to get out. She is a very independent woman and wanted to stay in her own home, and so we had to respect her wishes. We worried a little less knowing that she can get out if an emergency arises. Some people lost their power during the storm and it was out for days. People were actually buried in their houses for days until relief came. And probably the hardest part about this storm was the lives that were lost. So, for a lot us who are and were complaining about the situation we’re in now, just recently under a state of emergency with the restrictions in place and money we are losing from not being able to go to work, we really have to think about people who have lost a lot more.

My family knew one of the men who passed away during this storm. My heart breaks for the family and all the other families going through the loss of a loved one. We live in an amazing province and they are doing everything to get our lives back to normal. All the health-care personnel, the contractors that are clearing our roads and the military, and the thousands of volunteers who are doing whatever they can to make this situation as easy as possible for all of us deserve our thanks, respect, gratitude and appreciation. Imagine where we would be without them.

So, for whoever reads this, take a moment and think how lucky we truly are and take a moment and think about those families who lost a lot and say a little prayer for them. We are Newfoundlanders, we are a hardy bunch of people. Yes, we are going through a hard time right now, but we will bounce back and we will be there for the people who need us, because that’s what we do.

Tina Greeley Thomas

St. John’s

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