I made a very stupid, momentary choice to look away for just a second while driving to work yesterday and totaled my car.
Also, my year-long allergy issues are finally being resolved with the right mix of medication.
Why blog this? Truth is, today has left me very, very sore, and very, very thirsty. I cannot get enough water to drink, and all the ibuprofen in CVS's warehouse isn't cutting this achiness.
But I can't even bring myself to feel bad about that.
Not just because (thank God) no one was seriously injured, but because there is no way soreness from an airbag can compare to what the people who have actually survived Haiti's magnitude-7 earthquake are feeling right now. And that's just physical. The emotional toll of seeing hundreds of corpses on the streets, not knowing where loved ones are or if they're alive...impossible to imagine.
And yes, I'm thirsty. But I can turn on my faucet (in my heated, clean, safe apartment) and get as much water as I need. Even if I could not do that, I could drive in my car to buy bottled water, or probably find a friend that would help. Reports from Haiti say people are fearful of dying of thirst.
Yesterday, I smelled airbag for the first time. There was powdery residue all around me from whatever's in an airbag, and I wasn't sure where my glasses were at first. But I found my glasses, and the powder didn't stay on me. Many Haitian survivors are stark white with the dusty remains of the buildings that have crumbled around them.
Some of my friends and coworkers have relatives who are sick, or injured, or in some state of unwell. I hate this for them. Bad is bad, no matter how you cut it. But my friend Skye, who is doing her culinary internship on the island of Provos, works with people whose families are in Haiti, just 90 miles away. These coworkers of hers are on Provos to make more money that they can send home to their families. And now, they have no way of contacting their loved ones to see how they are...or even if they still are.
My closest brush with destruction was when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi Gulf Coast where I grew up. There were a few days when we weren't sure about some family members' homes, and there are still changes in landscape, missing landmarks, and stark differences in how and where people live that are constant reminders of that life-changing storm.
I didn't live on the coast at the time, though. I was three hours away in Jackson, Mississippi, and it was hard to come by, but I had access to gasoline and water to get to my family within the week.
I'm not sure if that's going to be an option for Haiti.
This situation is obviously weighing on me heavily. There are ways to help, and many of them are detailed on an NPR site that was posted this morning. I know more relief efforts have been enacted since this morning, and there will be tons of ways that we can help from where we are.
I'm saving the best way to help for last: prayer. No matter what the skeptics say, prayer does change things. Aside from the celestial benefits, it strengthens and solidifies the one who's praying, and -- pun intended -- Lord knows we occasionally need it.
Please do what you can. And be grateful for what you have. I know I am.
Case in point: I never thought I'd be saying I'm thankful for a totaled (new to me) car.
What a reality check.