A hurricane was on a collision course with Iberia Parish Louisiana. That was not uncommon. Numerous hurricanes have pummeled this portion of the Gulf Coast in the past. People in the low lying areas of Cypremort Point, Louisa and Weeks Island and moved further inland to evade the surge and flooding that would becoming that way. There was one road from New Iberia to the “Point” and if you waited to long that road would be under water and you would be unable to get away to higher ground.
Jesse was the bridge tender at Louisa for years. His job was to raise and lower the bride each time barge would move up and down the inter-coastal canal. He and his wife lived in a small modest home not far from the foot of the bridge. They had been through many storms before and maybe they thought they could ride this one out too. If things got really bad they would call their son in law Henry to come pick them up and bring them to his home in Lydia about 10 miles further inland. And things did get worse.
They call Henry to come get them, but before he could get to Louisa the road was impassable. Henry finds a friend of his who owns a boat and the tow of them take off and head down to Louisa to fetch Jess and his wife Agnes. The wind is howling. The rain is drenching. Yet, these two men push further on to rescue this elderly couple from the rising storm surge.
Jesse’s house now has water in it as the storm surge comes in from Vermillion Bay. Henry arrives to retrieve his frantic in-laws and bring them to safety, but the wind is so strong that his friend has trouble getting the boat close enough to the house to get them in. Henry jumps out of the boat into nearly ten feet of water and secures the anchor to keep the boat in place. He comes back up. Gets the boat over to the house and loads up his in-laws, goes back down and unties the anchor, climbs back in the boat and they head to safety.
Once Henry gets back home, he goes to shower and get on some dry clothes. He looks in the mirror and starts trembling. He was shaking and nearly vomits. He had placed himself in harm’s way to rescue Jesse and Agnes braving hurricane conditions and even putting his life at risk. What got him was that he had jumped into ten feet of water to secure and untie the anchor of the boat during a hurricane. And, is the kicker: Henry never learned to swim. He faced down fear.
Too many have allowed fear to steal their hopes and dreams. Too many have settled for less than what was rightfully theirs because of fear. If you want to improve the quality of your life, get rid of the fear. Learn to squash it like a bug and never allow it to further dominate your mind. Mark Twain said; “If you do the thing you fear then the death of fear is certain.” To get where you want to go and become what you truly want to be, you must face down fear! If Henry could do it, so can you!