What can you learn from your toothbrush?

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

I never gave much thought to my toothbrush before.
Every morning and night when I go to brush my teeth, it’s always sitting in the ceramic floral cup on the left hand side of my vanity next to the hand soap.
Others may keep items like this on the right side of the vanity but since my husband and I are both lefties, we probably do things backwards.
My dentist always gives me a new toothbrush when I go in for my six-month checkup.
I always leave the dentist’s office with clean teeth and a little plastic goodie bag, filled with a new toothbrush, along with a roll of dental floss and a small tube of toothpaste.
On Saturday morning, the day after tornadoes ripped through our community, I really took a good look at my toothbrush.
I thought  a lot about my toothbrush standing there and how awful it must feel when something as simple as your toothbrush was simply blown away and no longer in the place you stuck it that morning after brushing your teeth and heading off to work and school.
I’m not making light of the horrible scare our community went through, but there’s a lesson to be learned from my toothbrush.
A Dry Ridge resident lost his life when his dump truck was smashed by the winds in Piner. See related story in this issue. We offer sincere condolences to his family and friends.
Grant County was lucky. While there was destruction of property and items lost in the storm that may not be replaced such as family photos and keep sakes, we’re still lucky that the situation wasn’t much, much worse and dozens were killed in those storms.
Grant County is also lucky in many other ways.
I witnessed so many acts of kindness following the tornadoes.
There were the firefighters, who once again stepped up and, served their community because they saw a need. Those volunteers, and not just ones from Grant County but from all over Kentucky, worked tirelessly with little sleep to help people they didn’t even know.
The Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief Team, including members from Grant County, were out early manning chainsaws and piling debris into containers for people they’d never even seen and probably would never meet.
Then there were the hundreds of Good Samaritans who donated money, gift cards, food, water and clothing.
There were neighbors, who despite damage to their own homes, willingly jumped in to help out each other.
There were offers of help from local contractors, who weren’t looking to make a buck on someone’s tragedy and there were many acts of kindness from various levels of government and private business, including the Grant County Road Department, Republic Services and public officials such as Grant County’s Building Inspector Terry Conrad and Grant County Solid Waste Coordinator Bryan Miles.
I’m hesitant to name people for their many acts of kindness during this event for fear that I’ll leave someone out. To those I didn’t name, I apologize. May your reward be knowing that you made a difference.
The outpouring from the community was amazing and definitely evident enough to restore my belief that there are many good people in this world.
To all those who came to our community’s aid, may you reap back the kindness you sowed here.
Funny,  as many times as I handle my toothbrush, I never imagined it had a message so powerful to share.

(Jamie Baker-Nantz is editor of the Grant County News. She can be reached at 859-824-3343 or by e-mail at jbakernantz@grantky.com.)