I couldn’t sleep. I listened to the rain slapping onto our skylights and watched the flashes of lightning, and I felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety. Nature is just so much bigger than we are.
Images of the devastation from Oklahoma kept me awake. I looked up at my ceiling and tried to imagine what it would be like if it collapsed. Mostly, though, I thought of my three little girls sleeping in their beds, and my stomach cramped as I felt the fear and pain of the parents whose children were trapped in the wreckage of the tornadoes.
It is one of my worst nightmares. Literally. Shortly after we adopted Katie, I began having a repeated nightmare. In it, she was sitting in the bathtub and the water was running, and I dashed out of the room to grab a towel, and the door shut and locked behind me. In this horrifying dream, the water was filling and filling, and I couldn’t get to my daughter, and I knew she would soon be trapped underwater. I would be trying to break the door down to get to my baby but she was trapped.
All last night, I clenched my teeth and tried to relax as I envisioned the parents who were living some version of my nightmare.
I know today I will see a zillion Facebook comments such as “appreciate every single moment with your children” or “live every minute as if it were your last.” But that isn’t a realistic way to live. Human nature is to stop and grieve and talk and write about a tragedy, but then the headlines in the newspapers and the tweets and the status updates gradually return to the normal day-to-day events.
So my advice to my readers is not to live every minute of your life thinking about tragedy. Rather, it is this: spend some time TODAY thinking about what has happened in Oklahoma. And TODAY, while the horror is fresh in your mind, take a step further than Tweeting or Facebooking about your sadness. DO SOMETHING TO HELP:
- Make a donation (but be sure to go through a reputable agency, because the Internet is full of disgusting scammers who are waiting to take advantage of your vulnerability).
- Stick to donating through established well known sites. Go HERE to donate through the Red Cross or HERE to donate through the Salvation Army.
- Find a place locally where you can donate blood. People are injured and blood is in every sense life giving.
- Gather baby supplies, diapers, formula, and clothes and send them to those who have lost everything.
Make TODAY count and take action before you get caught up in the daily mundane and trivial details of life. And feel grateful that you were spared the suffering that has fallen upon the innocent people of Oklahoma.
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