more than me
Okay, last week I wrote about all kinds of me-ness. And not much has changed in that situation; it’s still incredibly rough going for me and will probably turn out to be one of my biggest professional challenges for many reasons. But I realized something. In my icky moments, when I feel my most conflicted or irritated or (let’s go there) resentful, something always happens to shake me out of it. Not forever, not for good. But enough to stop the pity party, the self indulgent behavior. It’s a twisted gift that the world gives me, a reminder to reevaluate.
Last week, and probably for many more, that was the news coming out of Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake. And even more specifically, it was two stories that shook me, rocked me to the bone. Forced me to stop being such a freaking baby and realize what really matters.
The first was about the massive amount of amputations being done in Port-au-Prince. Doctors are flying in from around the world to help and they are finding that people have been living for days, over a week, with crushed bones and extreme injuries. This damaged limbs and severe infections are leaving the doctors with no option beyond amputation. This is a drastic and difficult reality in the best of circumstances, in the best of situations, but in a country like Haiti it is devastation. Living as an amputee in this environment is insurmountably difficult. People know that and argue with the doctors. One woman was refusing to let them amputate the left leg of her daughter and the doctor was trying to explain (through an interpreter) that the alternative was death. This still did not calm her fears. The issue is compounded by the severe lack of prosthetic limbs. They were almost non-existent before and virtually impossible now. There’s hope that companies will step in and help out but the demand will be staggering. The reporter said the fear is that Haiti will become a nation of amputees.
So that is heartbreaking. I cannot imagine being an amputee. I don’t think I could handle that and I live in a place where I would be given every possible shred of assistance and support. The scope of life beyond this tragedy is almost beyond comprehension.
The other story was about a woman… well I’d advise you to just watch the story unfold. It is amazing and I will not do it justice. Bill Neely of Britain’s ITV comes across this man named Roger who is searching in the rumble of an office building for his wife, Jeanette. It’s Sunday and she has been missing for six days. It’s rather quiet when he first starts yelling for her and suddenly he hears something. She is calling out to him. Roger and others start to dig away but it’s not until a unit of the LAFD shows up that they are able to start making some headway. Mr. Neely sticks the microphone into the rumble and they can hear her talking. Much like the children who waited in line for hours and said “thank you” when being handed a bottle of water after 5 days of going without, she is polite and patient. Her hand is crushed under a beam but once they remove it, they are able to free her.
When Jeanette is carried out into the night air she starts to sing. Yes, she starts to sing. Seriously, watch the clip. When they ask her if she thought she would live, if she thought she would make it, she says “Why not?!” Why not indeed. If I ever needed a sense of perspective… there it is.
Yet again I have been yanked from my moping, from my self-reflection, and reminded that I don’t have to be blue. Or, honestly, that I don’t have any reason to be blue. When I feel disgruntled and bitter (even if it’s justifiable) I should simply take the time to focus outward. I should find something else to support, something outside of me. I can do some good instead of pouting. It’s like my mother used to say when we would be sitting inside complaining about feeling gross or being bored or any other childhood exasperation, “Go outside and get some sunshine and fresh air, it will do you good.” Give a little to the relief effort; watch the news and most of all: be grateful for what I have. Reverent in the surplus and patient in the lack. And hopeful, always, that tomorrow will bring with it more joy than sadness.
Tak you of yourself,
Dream Role: the future will be televised; got my eye on Mercy, The Good Wife, Damages and Law & Order