Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On My Heart

I have had a few things weighing heavily on my heart lately.

First, Haiti. Mr. Mustard recently finished working on a two hour special about Haiti for the tv show "The Doctors." Each night he worked on it, he would come home and tell me about the footage that was being flown in for him to watch. The things he told me, I will never forget. Some of the most heartbreaking stories I have ever heard. And then I saw the footage, and it was so much worse.

I feel so helpless. Yes, I've donated. Yes, I've prayed. But it just doesn't seem like enough. Not by a longshot.

Second, I have a few friends who are going through really tough times at the moment. I feel so helpless. I want to make things all better. But I can't. I'm not God. Not even close.

Mr. Mustard and I have supported the charity Save The Children for about 7 years now. We have a little girl who we sponsor in Mali, and before her, it was a little girl in Nepal. The other night, when I was so sad about the devastation in Haiti, I emailed our little girl in Mali just to say hi. I wanted to reach out to someone, and make myself feel better. I felt pathetic.

Since our twins passed away, I find that I often have the urge to donate in their names. It's my way of saying: They existed. They meant something to the world. They have a legacy. I know that a big part of that is me wanting to validate their place in the world. A world that may not see them has having had a place at all. Because, obviously, they occupy a big place in my heart and it breaks my heart to think that people don't know them.

But even with all the donations and steps I've taken to have them recognized, it still does not change the fact that Vivian and Annemarie aren't here. Even with all the donations and prayers, it does not change the horrific tragedies that have occured in Haiti.

Yes, I know that money is good to rebuild and research, and can be used for so many wonderful things. I know God has a way of healing hearts and families, and making miracles happen.

Even so, there is a part of me that feels so broken for what is lost.

I find it hard sometimes to focus on what is good when there is so much hardship. I guess that's why we pray - to lift our eyes up to the Heavens and find hope in the most heartbreaking of situations.

As I've gone through my life, I have tried to make the best of things. I've definitely had some sour lemons thrown my way over the course of my lifetime, and I've busied myself making lemonade.

But some days I come up short. Some things just can't be fixed. I can't get these images of Haiti out of my head. I want to do something. Something real. Something that will make a difference. But what?


Aidan Donnelley Rowley said...

Great, honest post. I don't have any sage advice about what to do that is real and that will make a difference, but I did want to chime in here and say that I so appreciate your perspective. And, as for lemonade? I don't think it is an everyday beverage.

Thanks for your comment on my blog!

Mamala/Jack Jack's Granny said...

Hi Erika,
We've never met. I'm Jacksons' Granny. I don't know if this will help you at all but here goes.
Having been through Katrina I can tell you the people there don't have any idea how many people know what they are dealing with or that anything other than they can see is being done. What relief we saw and felt came from one another first, then local radio programs.
Some of it applied to us and it was good to know. More importantly though was knowing about others that we couldn't see and hadn't heard from. It's personal to you and your life. A week or so in there were National Guard to distribute water,ice and MRE'S. They came from Pennsylvania and this military Mom loved seeing men in uniforms. We heard and saw the military helicopters. We were able to get gas, yes it was high and in short supply. We could go to ATM's 60 miles away and get $20 at a time to buy gas for friends who needed to run generators for insulin. Everything had to be paid in cash. Some used the ice to keep beer cool. It is New Orleans! They also floated in swimming pools.
Everyone pitchs in and starts cleaning up. You start where you are standing and work your way forward. Church groups always get there first with TRUE humanitarian needs. Something to eat,drink,clean clothes,wipes to clean yourself because showers are limited. In 100 degree heat they feel great. Church groups provide brotherhood. You aren't a victim to them. They pitch right in and are one of you, no judgement, just basic human kindness. They talk about whatever you want, nothing really, because it still hasn't penetrated your psyche that your world has been rocked and you're still here. The quiet is deafening, the rhythm of your life is gone. Contact your churches and be awed by what is being done without fanfare. From what I've seen the Church of Scientology is at ground zero with the true needs of the people. COMFORT through human interaction to ease mental and physical pain. There are medical staff to treat injuries that are seen. It's the invisible injuries that cripple. I bet the Lutheran Church is geared up as well. My husband is a graduate of Concordia University and I can assure you they have structured help in action. Also, closer to you in California is Julie Andrews.
She and her husband Blake Edwards have had a clinic in Haiti for 30 years! It is up and running without damage from the quake.
Try not to worry. When your heart feels heavy say a prayer for your strength and love to be felt by all the children there.Mothers prayers are answered, we are invincible where children are concerned. Your prayers are as important as your time and money.
Kiss and hold your girls. Bury yourself in the strong arms of the man you love.
Your have a tender heart.
Sending a Momma hug for you :)

FourJedis said...

What a heart-felt post. I think it's really nice that the things you do, donations you make are done in the names of Vivian and Annemarie. What a special way of honoring them. While I haven't had very many struggles through life, there has been some good that has come out of some of my worst situations (even if it took several years to find it). I agree with Jackson's Granny - keep your thoughts and prayers going to those who need it and make every minute with Mr. Mustard and your girls count, and keep the memories of V & A close to your heart. Hopefully all of these tragedies will some day make some kind of sense...