So much has happened since our last issue. On March 3rd, we all awoke to news that a category F-3 tornado ripped through Nashville and Middle Tennessee causing damage in East and North Nashville, Donelson, and Mt Juliet as well as Putnam and Wilson Counties, killing 24 people in the first 24 hours.
For those of us that remember the 2010 tornado, it was hard to believe- but this one was worse.
Nashville came together with the leadership of The Community Foundation, The Community Resource Center, our own One Gen Away, Hands on Nashville and many others. People from all over showed up to help in the way of donations and sweat equity. Rolling up their sleeve, literally, to help their neighbors in need.
Nashville and the other areas affected were barely getting their bearings, and no one could believe what hit us next.
We had all been at least loosely following the Covid -19 pandemic in China and Italy. But when the first confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus in Tennessee was right here in Williamson County, things really hit home.
As Publisher of a local magazine, I find myself in uncharted territory. Things are tough for all small businesses right now, including my own. I am moved to tears hearing about friends having to shut down their doors (hopefully temporarily).
The restaurant industry has been hit particularly hard and our area hospitals, that are doing everything to keep us well, are struggling amidst this unprecedented pandemic to find masks and ventilators.
As a business owner and someone that loves their community, I feel strongly that my job is to keep doing what I do. Tell the stories of our community. It is important to document what is happening so that we have record of what we saw and felt during this time.
That includes our story by Cathi Aycock that implores us to support our local restaurants that are suffering tremendously during this time by ordering gift cards, delivery, or take out to show our support.
It includes shining a spotlight on organizations that are on the frontlines of the tornado relief efforts that have all but halted amidst the news of Covid-19. The Community Foundation, the Community Resource Center and One Gen Away have been such a source of strength through tornado relief. Those affected by the tornados are still struggling to recover and rebuild.
Chris and Elaine Whitney of One Gen Away is our profile story in this issue. What they do on a daily basis is amazing. What they have done during tornado relief efforts and the Covid-19 pandemic is extraordinary.
One of my favorite stories in this issue is about 12-year-old Lucia Vernon and her sister Beatrice, our friends Chris and Cynthia’s daughters; and my friend and seamstress Doris McMillan, and others who stepped up immediately to provide masks for Williamson Medical Center doctors and nurses.
My prayer is that we see better days ahead. That we stay home and stay safe. The curve will not flatten until we all resolve to do that. The science does not lie. I also pray we all dig deep and find ways to show kindness and empathy during this time. Blaming and anger are not helpful at this stage. Taking care of our loved ones, helping where we can, social distancing and staying home is not only helpful, but absolutely necessary for us to get through this.
I believe there will come a day where we are on the other side of this. My hope is that we are a better country and better people because of having gone through it. I also pray we learn from it.
Hopefully we will be more aware of the fragility of life and more grateful for our relationships, our blessings, and our conveniences. Things we all too often take for granted.
Lately, I am more grateful for time to read, exercise, paint with my daughter, have dinner at the table and play board games with my family. We have all been forced to slow down and hit reset. And that is not a bad thing.
I pray for those that have lost lives due to Covid-19, are have been directly affected.
I look forward to the day we can all come together again. Until then – stay positive, stay safe and stay home.
Things will get worse before they get better. But they will get better.