Jeanne Zuniga, Minot
Good Friday this year was indeed a memorable "Good Friday" for us as we were finally able to move back into our home which was flooded last spring. Being back in our home suddenly brought to my mind the great probability that we had not said "thank you" to all those who gave so much to us, the city of Minot and even the state of North Dakota being no exception!
That being said, my family and I simply want to say "Thank you!" to all the businesses who offered discounted supplies or encouragement through events and gifts and to all the organizations who took on causes such as grass seed or sheetrock or just funds to buy the next list of building materials. We want to say "Thank you!" to the city leaders and engineers who listened to us cry and fume and plea and simply gave us the opportunity to ask questions even if it was unlikely that there was a good or happy answer. We also want to say "Thank you!" to those leaders for their hours of agonizing planning and re-planning and re-planningwhich continues even today.
We are not natives of Minot; we have enjoyed being stationed here with the Air Force for nearly four years now (and we hope for longer still!). Through this experience, we have come to greatly appreciate the intense work ethic of the Minot community. We are thankful to our neighbors for many conversations and exchange of details, resources and advice in how to proceed. We are immensely thankful for the overwhelming advantages that we have gained through the flood in spite of the devastating loss. We are thankful for the camaraderie, the commiserating, and the consolation. As I drive through our neighborhood and many others, I am even thankful for the spirit of recovery, determination and hope that leads others around us to also make the most of their own experience as well!
To the state of North Dakota, we have been proud to be residents here and to be treated lavishly to the lack of deficit, the strong and growing economy, the wise and steady decisions in how to balance growth with stability. Not all may agree and I warn you that I am not particularly savvy where politics are concerned, but this I know: It is a true pleasure to live in this very unusual state while the rest of the country is struggling, struggling, struggling to find their footing.
To the Bank of North Dakota, "Thank you!" for your generosity and making it all the more possible for us to reclaim our homes from the ravages of the waters.
I'm sure as soon as I conclude and submit this "Thank you!" I will think of even more whom I have forgotten. Like our brilliant and steady and flexible contractorsor our heating guy who still comes over to help me figure out how to mount our wall registersor our mailman who verifies accurate information for meor even businesses who did not charge us to transfer our services yet again when we were finally able to move back in. Often, I feel undeserving in all actuality when I stop to think of all that has been given and still continues to be given.
All of us have suffered through tragedy and devastation this past year even if we weren't flooded. Loved ones were lost, families were broken apart, homes can't be found, jobs are juggled, debt overtakes us, hope eludes us and the meaning of life escapes us. We all live in the suffering and struggles of life; my family and I were simply blessed to enter into a struggle so publicly recognized and confronted with a community strength of compassion and encouragement and help.
So thank you, Minot and North Dakota! And while true community never "pays back," we do want you to know that we accept our integral part of this community to "pay forward" for as long as we have the continued privilege to be a part of your lives.