Friday, September 09, 2005

Busy, busy, busy...

I've not blogged as often as I should lately. Between the hurricane and work and my dog being sick, its been hectic.

Echo started getting sick Saturday night. Flu-like symptoms, if dogs have such a thing. By Tuesday, I told Richard if she wasn't better when I came home for lunch, I was taking her to the vet. She must have heard the dreaded word "vet" because when I came home for lunch, she was bouncing off the walls, she was so perky. It was rather like a "See, Mom, I'm FINE!" thing. And she is. Thank God. My puppies are my babies now and Echo is Jenny's baby. They adore each other and I pray she lives to a ripe old age so Jenny can have her a good long while.

The hurricane was shattering, heartrending and terrifying. And I was only watching it. I've been swamped with doing things to aid those poor people. I don't have a lot of money, but I have time and other gifts. I made sets of Christmas coasters for an online auction a friend is doing to donate the proceeds to the people. Jenny is coming home tonight and we are spending the weekend sewing and putting together some things for her Team Supervisor's extended family, who lived in Waveland, MS - what they're now calling Ground Zero of Hurricane Katrina. The supervisor's family lived for 5 days without food, water or shelter...and one of them is pregnant. Jenny had brand-new clothes in the size of one of the young girls - she's lost a lot of weight and the clothing was bought just before and never worn - still has tags on it!

I made a small baby quilt for the unborn baby and we'll probably make some maternity tops and other things for the baby this weekend. Maybe some know, they NEED so much. Everything is gone. EVERYTHING. It makes me feel helpless when I think of the overwhelming task in front of all these replace their homes, their cars, their clothes...all the way down to their toothbrushes...the myriad things it takes to run a home - all of it gone.

I remember the struggle as young newlyweds, Richard and I saving money to buy pots and pans, to buy a shower curtain, to buy bedding. When you are young and its just the two of you, its fun to decide what next. But these people have families, all the important stuff was long since bought and mostly what they bought was I guess what you'd call maintenance - maintenance of the lifestyle they already were part of. They have children now. They have lives.

The kids don't have a high school football team anymore. They don't have band and soccer practice and cheerleading. Their school colors are wherever they found shelter, not the familiar, the anticipated, the blending into a team of their friends and schoolmates. They've been ripped from something they've worked for their entire young lives, into the lives of compassionate strangers, but strangers nonetheless.

Jobs gone in a second. Many people define themselves by the job they do. The sense of worth, the self-esteem, the commitment to that employment, to doing a job and reaping the benefits. Gone. If the business is wiped out and can't relocate, these people have no jobs, no benefits and may even have lost their pensions.

The magnitude of the devastation didn't end with the hurricane. That was only the beginning.

And with another hurricane out there hovering on the horizon, I realize with even my extensive disaster preparations that I am still not as prepared as I could be. Its a sobering thought.

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