Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 143 or Remember the Dream and Haiti

Yesterday, I spoke of my little hair hardship as if it were a real hardship, it is not. Years ago, a heroic man named Martin Luther King, Jr. led many a heroic person to fight against true hardship. At soup counters and on buses, brave men and women bore insult and injury to prove that we are all God's creation and all worthy of dignity and respect. And as the truly mighty do, he and his legions of followers did it with the power of truth. Slanderous name-calling was not rebuffed with pettiness of thought or word but with stoic silence. Because the truth speaks for itself. Violence was not returned with the closed fists of rioting but with the open hand of friendship to whomever would walk in the name of that truth.

I salute all the Freedom Fighters. Because when one is oppressed, all are oppressed. And when one speaks for freedom, he speaks for us all. I stand in awe of those who fought battles and died to make this country the realization of its promise. MLK did not live to see an earthly promised land but I know he walks with the angels today. And we may not have fully reached that promised land but we can keep walking. We will one day fully come out of the desert if we can continue to hold out our hands and embrace each other regardless of color or creed, sex or sexuality, religion or politics. When we choose the words of kindness, when we choose the path of understanding, we not only free the other, we free ourselves. Then, and only then, we will truly reach the Promised Land.

Yesterday, I spoke of my little hair heartache as if it was a real heartache, it is not. Today, I read the posting of a woman who lost her daughter one month ago. The daughter was the same age as my daughter. Her heartache was real. Today, I watched a family discuss the loss of their nine year old to someone who was texting while driving. That is heartache. There loss is real and profound and what they lost cannot grow back or be restored. I stand in awe of their strength and grace in the face of real heartache.

Yesterday, I spoke of my little hair disaster as if it was a real disaster, it is not. The people of Haiti are suffering from a real disaster. One that will not fade away as the hair color will. It cannot be managed by a trip around the corner and it will not be forgotten in a week, or a month, or a year when the remnants of the offending color no longer intrude on my thoughts.

Tonight, I watched a woman being pulled out of the rubble after being trapped for over five days. When her husband helped locate her and help finally reached her, the first thing she politely asked for from her concrete prison was a glass of water. Said it would be lovely. The second words from her mouth were for her husband telling him that if they could not get her out in time, she would always love him. They were able to get her out. And when they did, she began to sing. Sing. I stand in awe of this woman and all the people of Haiti who have found strength to sing when there literal world has crashed around them.

So as I cuddled my children in my arms, and smelt their hair, and treasured our freedom, our life, and our safety, I thanked God that my hardships, heartaches, and disasters were relegated to a bad day with hair color. I am mightily. mightily blessed. And with those children in my arms, I heard one of my favorite songs, "Fire and Ice". I have always loved the song but it was made a hundred times more profound to me on September 11, 2002 when James Taylor performed it live at Ground Zero to mark the year anniversary of 9/11. It carries a resounding chorus of loss and hope uniquely intertwined. When I heard its haunting melody, I thought of those parents and their daughters (forever lost from this Earth) and I thought of the Haitian couple reunited after a week of despair and darkness and yet, a deep determination.

So I thought that I would share those beautiful words. Here they are in all their glory.

Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
Susanne the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can't remember who to send it to

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again

Won't you look down upon me, Jesus
You've got to help me make a stand
You've just got to see me through another day
My body's aching and my time is at hand
And I won't make it any other way

Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again

Been walking my mind to an easy time my back turned towards the sun
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it'll turn your head around
Well, there's hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things
to come
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground

Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you, baby, one more time again, now

Thought I'd see you one more time again
There's just a few things coming my way this time around, now
Thought I'd see you, thought I'd see you fire and rain, now

So, if you are moved as I was and want to help...

Donate to March of Dimes, the sweet angel that left this Earth days shy of her birthday was born premature and this contributed to her death almost three years later.

Take the No Phone Zone Pledge. The beautiful nine year old girl was 15 pedals from her home. The driver did not see her because she was on a cell phone. Oprah has started a campaign and the motto is "Dont tempt f8, That text can w8". This little girl's death was 100% preventable.

And if you want to help Haiti, go to or call 1-800-Red-Cross, This country is going to need our help for a long time. Long after a new headline has taken hold. Long after, there are no more rescues.

And prayers. One can never go wrong with just raising another human up in prayer. I know I'll be praying in beseech and in immense, immense gratitude.


tattytiara said...

These terrible events are wonderful opportunities to form new perspectives indeed.

Formerly known as Frau said...

Beautiful post and reminder of how blessed we really are. There are so many tragedies today and my prayers are pouring out of me.

chitra said...

That was really a nice post. You understand the agony and pain of others. Really empathetic. Hugs.

Unknown said...

Great post Traci!

AudreyO said...

Can I say two things? One, your post is compassionate and caring. But two, please be gentle with yourself. While our pain may not be that of someone who lost a child, our pain is very real when we have a bad hair day. Are we blessed to have hair on our heads? Sure we are..but it's ok to be a bit upset it's not the hair we wanted. It's ok to give to the Red Cross or whoever to help others out, but we can still feel whatever we feel within our own lives. Really really powerful post :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. It really put things in perspective and was very touching. I'm so glad there are people who want to help and are actually following through.

Betty Manousos said...

Loved your post!Traci. Great reminder!
My prayers are with those affected!
Huge hugs!

Claudya Martinez said...

You are so not a ditzy blonde.

Tracie said...

That was beautiful. It's all about perspective, isn't it?