1 day ago
What I wrote below wasn’t intended. I was just going to post a picture I took of Jordan and Kesley for their engagement session a couple of years ago. But ... I got to thinking ... It’s been a while since visiting St Andrews State Park. Part of me doesn’t want to see it after Hurricane Michael, and part of me wants to know. I don’t even know if it’s open.
I went camping there a dozen times as a kid, and countless times just visiting. I know this exact spot. I doubt I would recognize it now. Breaks my heart.
My sister is visiting Orlando, and tonight she told me that the Bay County School District lost 14,000 (FOURTEEN THOUSAND!) students since Hurricane Michael. That’s half of the student population. Gone. One of the two hospitals shut down already. Hundreds of teachers do not have jobs anymore. Thankfully she has gotten her letter than she still is employed as an elementary teacher.
It’s so easy to forget what’s happening up there. I know because I do it all the time. I’m from that area. I see reminders in my social media news feed. I get news updates. Family members who survived the eye. Friends whose houses and jobs are gone. Pictures and videos on my phone from when I visited in December. But I still forget. When I sit and contemplate all that they are still going through, it’s overwhelming. Compassion fatigue is a real thing. There are so many burdens in this world. Too much for one heart. That’s why we need each other. Hold that hug a little longer. Send that text to say “I’m thinking of you.” Donate local. Donate far away. And take care of yourself. ❤️ Side note: when I was photographing their wedding, Hurricane Matthew was tearing up the east coast of Florida. The Emerald Coast was calm as a lake on their wedding day. at St. Andrews State Park