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Compassion in a Texas Storm

2021 doesn’t seem that different from 2020 in the number of challenges we are facing together. From still trying to contain the COVID-19 pandemic to weathering record breaking natural disasters, the human spirit is being challenged every day by one obstacle or another. It is difficult to get up every day and want to continue to try and help others, but that is the amazing trait about humanity. We have the instinct to be compassionate to others and to continue to persevere for our own well-being as well. An example of this triumph can be found in the unprecedented blizzard that fell upon Texas a few weeks ago. From large donations given by corporations to everyday people doing what they could, Island Wealth Financial Consultant, Krystal Emge, witnessed first hand how the resilience of the human spirit continued to be demonstrated throughout this disaster.

Krystal was able to experience firsthand the impact that the storm had on its residents and the compassion Texans still carried for one another even during the wake of the storm. Krystal and her family were caught in the legendary snowstorm. Changing lodging three times to ensure they had heat, electricity, and running water and trying to find a way home through Hawaii’s COVID-19 protocols were only a few of the obstacles they had to face. Like many Texans, Krystal and her family tried to make the best of their circumstances. Playing charades in their streetlamp-lit hotel room when the electricity went out and enjoying a spread of PB&J’s, red wine and chocolate truffles for their Valentine’s Day dinner (after a futile search for any open restaurant or drive-thru) were some of the highlights.

Many Texans were caught off guard and unprepared for the chaos the blizzard would bring for their homes, but that didn’t stop those who helped with whatever they could spare. Krystal recounted a story she heard on the local Texan news of a man—whose pregnant wife was in the hospital with COVID—paying for another stranger’s tank of gas because the elderly man had forgotten his wallet in the midst of the storm. When the news crew asked the young man why he would pay for a stranger, he replied he was brought up to help when he could, and if he could help this stranger when he was helpless to care for his wife, he would. There were countless stories of plumbers and construction workers working during the blizzard to help their neighbors with busted pipes and caving roofs. Krystal also felt the compassion of the locals in the form of a kind pharmacist. Krystal and her family’s flight delay of three days resulted in their negative test results passing the 72-hour validity for waving Hawaii quarantining restrictions. They were unable to get an appointment for another test before their new departure date. Determined to find someone willing to help, Krystal went pharmacy-to-pharmacy explaining their situation and asking for help. After several failed attempts, the kindness of one local pharmacist allowed Krystal and her family the ability to be tested and receive their second negative test results in time for their departure flight and fly home safely.

The news headlines following the once-in-a generation blizzard displayed the real destruction that the storm caused in people’s homes and lives, but it also highlighted the intrinsically good actions of neighbors helping neighbors. H.E.B, a local grocery chain found all over Texas, decided to let crowds of shoppers leave with carts full of groceries without having to pay a dime. Grateful shoppers found themselves doing what they could to spread the kindness they received in the parking lot. Many helped others place their unbagged groceries in their cars, towing cars out of the snow, and collecting shopping carts to return. We can learn that while we will continue to go through rough times, we as human beings have a compassionate and persevering spirit. We will do what is within our power to help; no matter how large or small the action is, because you will never know how great an impact it can have and how it can continue to grow even after the initial act.

On a side note and crazy story of taking it all in stride: A two hour delay in their departure flight from San Antonio to Denver ensured that Krystal and her family wouldn’t make their connecting flight and arrive back to Honolulu at 2 p.m. Instead, their new route became: San Antonio to Denver, Denver to L.A., L.A. to San Francisco and finally San Francisco to Honolulu, arriving at 10 p.m. Thankfully, it was this delay that saved them from being on United flight 328 whose engine exploded mid flight. Krystal and her family’s disappointment over their new itinerary quickly turned to gratitude. Through it all Krystal and her family continued to persevere and make the most of their trip until the very end. And they are excited about planning their next adventure!

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