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Reply to: Tubbs Fire Membership Check-in
<blockquote><strong class="quote">Anonymous wrote:</strong> <P align="center"><STRONG>Returning “Home” to Santa Rosa</STRONG></P> <P align="left"><EM>Alliance member, Karen Erickson, who lost her home on Bent Tree Place, shares her reflections on the many losses we all face and the support we receive from our community.</EM></P> <P align="left"><SPAN style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">Sunday, after spending three days out of town, I returned to my hometown of Santa Rosa. I had awakened in the morning feeling anxious about what was going to happen next, especially how and when I would be able to find semi-permanent housing. As I drove closer, and the smoke in the air got thicker, I began to smile. I was returning "home" - not to the property I had to leave a week ago, but to the community that I love.</SPAN></P> <P align="left">I passed under overpasses filled with signs of encouragement, strength, and appreciation for the first-responders. The city is definitely changed - the landscape charred, homes and businesses gone, the iconic Fountaingrove Round Barn a pile of ashes. Lives were tragically lost and families are shattered and in grief. But the grief and sense of loss is not limited to the direct victims of the wildfires. It is a shared consciousness – one that is palpable and deeply touching, one that I have felt in my travels to various parts of the Bay Area this week. Along with it is the shared desire to do something meaningful, to support each other, to connect, to give a smile, to acknowledge one another as human beings.</P> <P align="left">I went to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds last night to see the volunteer and firefighter operation, expecting to see a lot of familiar faces amongst the volunteers. I was astonished and heartened to see so many people of all ages and walks of life, helping the evacuees in whatever way they knew how. As I was leaving Santa Rosa last night I was filled with such enormous gratitude in seeing that, through this tragedy, the spirit of oneness and of shared commitment to one another is bursting forth. I have never before had such faith in humanity. It brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart - way more than possessions ever could.</P> <P align="left"><FONT color="#1D2129">People connecting with each other - smiling, hugging, crying, laughing, helping, caring, sharing - this is what community is about. </FONT><FONT color="#222222">My anxiety over what happens next is dampened greatly. I will be fine, eventually maybe better than fine. After all, I am not alone.</FONT> </P> <P align="left">Thank you all for providing a beautiful matrix of love and support.</P> <P align="left">In love and gratitude,</P> <P align="left">Karen </P> <P><BR></P> </blockquote><br>
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Sonoma County Medical Association Alliance Foundation
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