I don’t know what to start with, here, but the word “GRACE” sticks in my mind.            GRACE: n/4. favor or goodwill; 5. manifestation of favor, especially by a superior; 6.mercy.

Hard word to use, when I have so much warm thoughts to all of my relatives, cousins aunts, uncles, and friends who live in Washington, Illinois; and East Peoria, Illinois.  I will start with the sadness of family and friends who lost a family member during this past tornado, this past Sunday.  It’s unexpected, and sudden.  Everything in pictures, and videos, describe destruction.  View any pictures, and videos yourselves,  in the past couple of days, I’m sure that you will be surprised how I see “grace” within all of this.

My cousin lived within a block of the storm, buckled down in her basement with her kids; property survived, and they were unhurt.  Washington High Football Team, scouring the debris, helping however they can.  Julie, another cousin in Washington, very active in animal shelters, trying to find the animals not yet with the owners.  This is a HUGE community effort; remember Washington is a town of only 15.000 people.  Right now, possibly 14 have their lives in this destruction.  This loss, is terrible; my warm thoughts to all involved.  Why do I still believe in “grace”?  Nobody has given up, these people are putting their town back RIGHT NOW!  Their belief in God, or as one might say, their “higher being”, is so strong right now, because of their faith in their lives right now.  I talked to several of my relatives, and they have this extreme hope for this “change” in their lives,  from their “manifestation from a superior”.  Take this as you will, but I have such a respect for those who are so open to their religious beliefs.  They are holding up, in high schools, other relatives’ houses, whatever; holding up by not giving in, and “waitin’ for the money”.  No, I have so much hope, for everyone, as they rebuild, and get their families back to “NORMAL”, (whatever that means).

If anyone has any clothes, donations, whatever; please contact me, and I will make the connection.  I feel like I’m out here, what can I do?  Well, I guess this is it; I’m spreading the word that these are my people, from my hometown, (next to Washington), and I’ll do whatever I can out here to help them.

This is why GRACE is in my mind, the grace that I give them for their faith, love , and hope.

“Life isn’t about succumbing to the trials we face; it’s about picking up the crosses that we bear and moving forward, embracing the situation that God has given us”.

To everyone back there, I love you all; I am so hoping that life resumes to a normal pace to you all, and I grace you all with very warm thoughts.


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