As Valentine’s Day approaches and I realize that I don’t have a suitable gift, I thought I would share one reason why I love this woman–Vickie–the embodiment of resilience.
For the second time in our married life our house was destroyed by fire. In this instance in 1987, we were driving across town in Nairobi and saw smoke bellowing in the distance. “That’s our house Vickie.” I shared with her, before we were even close to home. Apparently rats had made a meal of the tattered electrical wiring in the ceiling of the old house we called home in a rather nice suburb of the city. Cross two bare wires and you get sparks. As we arrived, scores of police encircled the house–to keep looters at bay. Fire fighters poured water on the house with blazes still reaching above the tall avocado trees that usually shaded the house from the heat of noonday sun.
Okay, so Vickie wasn’t that “together” when we arrived. And she would have rather me hold her instead of grabbing my camera to document the fire for insurance purposes. But, within a few short hours, she was quickly going through the cooling house collecting anything salvageable. Who knew tupperware could survive all that heat! What is remarkable in this photo is the ever smiling face of Vickie who has the ability to laugh in the worst of circumstances. Humor is one of the best attributes to combat trauma, crisis, stress, catastrophe, and just plain hard times.
We are all stronger because of laughter and Vickie is an example and encouragement of a loving and resilient woman. If there is any quality I see in all of my children, it is this ability to laugh, look for the positive amidst the worst, and to keep moving on–they come by it honest.
So maybe we will go to a movie together on Valentine’s Day, and have a nice meal.