From the Publisher: Caught Off Guard

When life throws a curve ball

_d5a5813On a recent, quiet Saturday morning, I was awakened early by a call from Henry’s cell. He must have locked himself out of the house, was my first thought, knowing he was up at first light for his bike ride. But it wasn’t Henry’s voice that I heard on his phone. 

“Emily, this is Rusty DePass. Henry’s had an accident, but he’s fine.” Thinking I would jump in the car and go pick him up, no doubt with skinned knees and elbows, I grabbed my keys as I talked to Rusty. He explained that was not the case. Dail Longaker, Jr., who found Henry right after he wiped out, had already called an ambulance. I froze in place, my heart lurched and I feared the worst. 

The next few hours were terrifying. Life had caught me off guard. It is during these difficult moments that I’m reminded of the tremendous gift of friends and our amazing Columbia community. People we knew and people we didn’t know rushed to our aid with an outpouring of love, comfort, prayer and help. 

After several hours, we found out that Henry, after taking time to heal from the injuries, would make a full recovery with no lasting side effects. Our prayers of thankfulness are ongoing, especially for the sea of people who rallied to our side during this time of need. 

It was exactly one year ago that the entire Midlands was also thrown a curve ball. In the early hours of Oct. 4, the ravages of water invaded our city, taking lives, ruining homes and causing widespread destruction. It was a devastating occurrence that no one ever anticipated, as evidenced by how few people had flood insurance. And yet, this precious community did what it does so well … rescued and cared for those in need.

“Everyone was caught off guard by the flood to some extent, but when you look at our community, it is so pleasant to see how we came together,” says Michela Schildts, the South Carolina operations manager for the St. Bernard Project, in our article on page 38. “It was all about helping one another and figuring out solutions. What I learned from this experience this past year is that we are all able to come together to help.”

Certainly, it is easy to find caring people everywhere in the world, but somehow, the Midlands seems to have an overabundance of those who hasten to help others. Life will throw curve balls, but how blessed we are to live in such a loving community that will always, always be with us during every deep-water journey that may come our way. 


Emily Clay

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