Learning from the Interviewee

Updated: Oct 15, 2018

Recently, my viewing area was hit by the second deadliest storm system in U.S. history.

As a journalist, I am charged with going out to get the story. For me, no day is an “ordinary day.” Every day is a new day, with a different story to tell. April 28, 2011 I told the story of Maxine McFall – who I now call a friend.

On the surface, any one who walked up to what once was Maxine’s house could tell the her story. Broken bricks, busted barns, shingles scattered throughout the yard – things were all over the place. However, Mrs. McFall was not worried about mere things. The value of the possessions -that had been tossed around like toys - were of the least bit of importance.

Maxine told me her tornado story. She told me how she, her husband and 12 of their friends piled into her storm shelter…and in a matter of minutes the things that at one time seemed so valuable were destroyed. It was in that moment that she said the value of her life was reaffirmed.

Maxine’s story, her humbleness and her willingness to tell me her story in the midst of her vulnerable state made me think.

Over the next few weeks, I interviewed countless people who had lost all of the things they had due to tornadoes. The one thing that all of those people had in common was how grateful they were for what is perhaps the biggest gift of all – life.

This time, the story inside this story is for me…the story inside of all their stories - each one similar, but all are unique. The story inside the story: Realize what really matters and be thankful if you have it – the intangible are the irreplaceable. “Love, Live, Life”



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