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I read a few news stories online today for the first time since wildfires swept through Fort McMurray. During the evacuation I could not focus on anything but the challenges each day brought. I have also been steeped in grief for my family, friends, co-workers and fellow survivors, especially those who have lost everything to “the beast”.

I usually read a lot of news stories. I guess you could call me a news junkie. But the fires changed that – at least temporarily – and not just news, but my ability to take in the daily doings of family members – some of whom have been dealing with serious health issues. I feel bad that I have been unable to be there for the people closest to me – my children, siblings, relatives, and friends. Is this normal? But this week I have felt the fog lifting, my interest in family matters, local matters, and world matters increasing. I know I am not “there” yet, but there is a definite improvement in my ability to listen and really hear others.

Last Sunday, June 12th, there was a horrific shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. It took me several days to gather enough courage to read about it and my heart truly goes out to the families of everyone affected, but for the most part I have been numb. My mind simply cannot take in any more bad news – the trauma of the fires has taken a toll and self-preservation seems to be the order of the day. I am running on empty with little left to give. All my energies have been focused on the fires and the aftermath. I am not broken, but I am definitely a little bent. Reading the news stories has given me hope that a degree of normalcy is returning…whatever “normal” is.

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