I’ve stared at a blank screen for an hour. Sometimes writing helps me process my emotions. Other times, I’d rather bottle it up, put on a smile and pretend like everything is fine. For whatever reason, today I’d rather do the latter. But I feel like I’d be doing our friends, our community and our hearts a disservice by pretending it’s all ok. Because it’s not.
I haven’t watched the news in days, but I’m sure by now everyone is aware of Hurricane Ian’s destruction.
I’ll lead with the information that our boat, Light & Salty left Fort Myers mid-June. We spent the summer on the Tennessee River. We are safe. As is our boat.
However, our beloved Fort Myers marina, Legacy Harbour, took Hurricane Ian head on. The water rose, and the docks just couldn’t handle it. Many boats ended up on the bottom, and others in heaps near the parking lot.
For many people living in that particular marina, that was their everything. Like us, they sold dirt homes and possessions. They whittled down their most important things to what could fit on their boat. Literally everything they own went down in Ian.
And that’s just the water scene from the storm.
Our other friends lost homes and businesses. One friend ended up with their family in the attic of a neighbor’s 2 story house. They had tools at the ready to cut a hole should the water keep rising. Another friend took in her daughter’s best friend, while that child’s family rode out the storm on Sanibel Island. It was over 48 hours until they knew her family had been rescued from their roof, by boat.
I know Hurricane Ian isn’t the first storm to cause massive destruction. And unfortunately, it won’t be the last. But our family has never been this up close and personal to one, so we’re processing all the emotions. Our hearts are broken in so many ways.
But that’s not really what I want the takeaway from this post to be (even though I just spent like 10 paragraphs talking about it!) Instead, I want to acknowledge all of our amazing memories in the community we love.
Fort Myers will always hold a very special part of our family’s story.
I can honestly say we enjoyed every single second we spent there. I thought about attempting to list some of our highlights, but in all honesty the best memories are in the tiny details.
We were so blessed by the time we spent in Southwest Florida!
The friends we made will be friends for life. Joey’s on Sanibel set the bar for the best ice cream in the world. We’ll measure all future ice cream against that place. And we’ll be first in line when they rebuild and reopen. Fort Myers will always be the spot that Mary Grace started her first business (with her friend, Molly) and Miller represented the city as a baseball All Star.
It makes me so proud to see the whole community rally together in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Everyone is helping one another and I know, without a doubt, SW FL will come back better and stronger than ever.
In lighter news, I can’t wait to share more posts soon with details about our time on the Tennessee River and in Knoxville as part of the Vol Navy. But again, I just couldn’t not acknowledge Hurricane Ian. I also wanted to mention that the first picture on this post is the last picture I took from our bow at Legacy. I had been hoping for one last sunset, but in hindsight this seems more appropriate.
Please keep all of our friends, and the whole SW Florida community in your prayers as they rebuild from Hurricane Ian!
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