Twenty years ago today in a tiny town in South Carolina a young girl looked out of the window at her grandparent's house across the land that she loved and watched as a terrible storm swept through the countryside. What she saw that night was only a tiny fraction of the impact that Hurricane Hugo would have on her state. As she ate pumpkin pie and watched Doogie Howser, M.D., the monster, as she would hear it called, was ripping apart homes, destroying landmarks and eroding the beaches that she loved.
She would get home a few days later and see that the fence in her yard had been knocked down, tree branches littered the yard and things just generally looked amiss. When she would exclaim "oh no the fence is down" her mother would remind her "be thankful that it was only the fence, some lost all."
Today this woman remembers those that lost all. Where is this woman twenty years later? She still lives in the Midlands of South Carolina, the land that she loves so much that it is a part of her. She is on constant alert during Hurricane season because she knows how much destruction one "storm" can cause. The mere sound of thunder leaves her with the desire to hide under her desk until it is all over. I carry this with me but I also carry a sense of gratitude that my family and loved ones escaped most of the harm of the storm.
I mourn for the lives lost, the families that lost everything that they had and for the historical monuments and artifacts that were lost in the storm that can never be replaced.
That is my Hugo story, most South Carolinians that lived here during that time have one. I invite you to share yours, if you are so inclined.