Since the devestating 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti Jan 12, media networks have exponentially inundated us with tragic tales & images combined with stories of survival, heroism, sacrifice, service and love. Not a day goes by without “Haiti” being present somehow in our conscious or subconscious life. If you are anything like me, then over the past two weeks you’ve probably done two or more of the following:
- Made at least one monetary contribution - such as texting “Haiti” to 90999 or logging online to websites such as American Red Cross, The LDS Humanitarian services, or HealingHandsForHaiti.org , etc.
- Prayed for Haiti
- Replayed images of suffering Haitians and desperate rescue workers over-and-over in your mind.
- Remembered Haiti as you blithely jumped into the car to run a quick errand, took a drink of water, ate a meal, hugged your spouse/child/friend, or … found yourself leisurely strolling through an aisle in a cavernous grocery/discount/home improvement/retail store surveying products stacked to the rafters that you knew millions of suffering people desperately needed RIGHT NOW TO SURVIVE, but could not receive.
- Found yourself magnetically drawn to reading every special feature, breaking news report, and dramatic human interest story involving Haiti, [especially lingering on the positive ones] and then feeling driven to keep re-telling these stories to any family/friend/co-worker/perfect stranger within earshot.
Yesterday, I arrived home a little earlier than the rest of my family, so I opened up the local newspaper thinking I would do a quick “catch up” before lunch. For the next hour, or more, I sat transfixed as I read one unforgettable, heart-wrenching & heart-warming story after another in my Deseret News.
- A survivor found after being buried 11 days - Amazing!
- The bitter-sweet rescue and evacuation of Haitian Orphans - Beyond Words!
- Nurse Liz Howell, a 9-11 widow, binding hearts in Haiti - Inspiring!
- Nurse Howell’s tender account of helping an injured 4-year-old boy in Haiti. Priceless!
Reading these stories swamped my heart with alternating waves of sorrow and joy. I found myself having to stop often due to my inability to focus or breathe. These symptoms were, of course, directly tied to my uncontrollable sobbing. Although my mind was a million miles away, I distinctly heard a teenaged daughter loudly whisper:
“Dad! Stay out of the kitchen! Mom’s having another one of her media meltdowns!”
Moments later, the same daughter tiptoed into the kitchen just long enough to deposit an extra large box of Kleenex on my lap, before retreating quickly to the other side of the house. Later that night, just after I had heroically composed myself and we all sat down to our nice dinner, and just before the knot returned to my throat and my eyes welled up again, I was offered another piece of sage 16-year-old advice:
“Next time Mom, don’t even THINK about the news until you go get the Kleenex first!”