We’re nearing the end of a long, hot and hard week in our community. And while the moments of the week have been all of those things there has also been a greatness to it. We've watched neighbor helping neighbor, a certain patience was extended and appreciated between strangers, and we all became thankful for what we have and tried to share it with others. This week was a great moment for our community.
I have the joy of working with many family and a beautiful team, including my wife. At the end of the day I’ll often ask her “Did you have any great moments in pharmacy today?” It’s how the two of us together measure the successfulness of the day. And this week was full of such moments.
On Monday morning, after the storm, a tree fell from my yard and completely blocked the road for myself and two of my neighbors. I went to work to try and remove the tree with a chain, and was struggling. But before I had been there for more than a handful of minutes my neighbor arrived and offered to help. A houseguest of her’s during the hurricane had packed a chainsaw. I pulled on the tree with my SUV while they simultaneously cut the limbs. In just a few minutes, by working together, we had cleared the road.
At the same time we were working on our tree a friend called to check on me. He had been out helping to chainsaw trees around downtown Inverness and had already cleared six streets. He told me it seemed like everyone in town was outside and working together to help clean up. Neighbors helping neighbors. It was a great moment.
On Monday night your pharmacists and the rest of our team went to bed knowing that neither of our pharmacy locations had power. Most of us didn't have power at home either. All we knew was the storm was over and that we were safe. And at that moment that was enough.
Early Tuesday morning our team was up before dawn to evaluate our pharmacies and see if power had been restored. We didn't know what to expect out of the day. But just being safe wasn’t enough Tuesday morning. We knew that whether we had power or not we were going to open the pharmacy and go about our business of helping people. To the best of our abilities. That’s our mission and why we exist. Daily Brashear's Pharmacy wants to be a part of making people healthier and life more beautiful. And a lack of electricity isn’t enough to stop us.
We arrived at the Inverness pharmacy first after a long, dark drive. There were no streetlights, no lit up signs along the road and most of the stoplights were out too. We found no power or phones working. But we opened our doors, and our windows, and went to work. People immediately started to trickle in who needed help. “I’m out of insulin!” “Do you have any batteries?” “I’m running low on this - do you have any? Everyone else is closed.”
By Tuesday mid-morning another friend called, their power was working again, and offered to lend us a generator. By noon we’d hooked up a computer or two and a cash register to the generator and now we felt like we were really up and running. The throaty roar of that borrowed generator was a great moment.
Our Lecanto location was more fortunate this week. By the time we arrived Tuesday morning we had power, phones and internet restored and we were able to open for business regular hours all week. Everyone showed up for work on time Tuesday morning in the best condition they could. Many hadn’t had showers in a day or two but they knew there was work to be done and a community to help.
I thought a lot this week about the last time a hurricane affected our community. It was August, 2004 and I was a newlywed, a recent college graduate and I had just started working at Brashear’s Pharmacy. We lost power at the pharmacy due to Hurricane Charley for 5 or 6 days back then. I remember it being hotter back then than this week. Pharmacists checked prescriptions with flashlights and we must have had a smaller generator back then because every time the printer printed a prescription label you could feel the generator strain. It was entertaining thinking about how much I remember of that week this week. It must have been a great moment too.
Our electrical power was blessedly restored this week on Thursday afternoon. We feverishly started calling in the rest of our team who weren’t back to work yet. I’m proud of the work they all did. The challenges of this week uniquely focused all of our efforts on one mission. We weren’t distracted by the latest national scandal, television or hobbies. We woke up early, we worked hard all day and then went home to rest up for the day to come. We spent each day trying to help as many people as we could. That's really the only business we know.
This week was a great moment for our community.