Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Watching After Effects of Earthquake Up Close and Personal

North Miami Beach is filled with Haitians, it is not "Little Haiti" which is to our south about five miles in North Miami but for all apparent purposes the fault line from the Haitian Earthquake runs north up N.E. 6th Avenue from an area known as "Little Haiti" to 167th Street in North Miami Beach.

The neighborhood is filled with Haitian stores, people and food. The scents and sounds of Haiti are colorfully alive and well in North Miami Beach. Everyone knows someone who has lost a close family member or friend in Haiti. My son is the hospital next to a little six year old boy who was flown in from Haiti recently. The little boy has a problem with his leg though it should hopefully (praying) be okay, however he lost his four year old sibling and is a child that loses a sibling ever "okay" ??? The mother was fine, the children were not. Not easy listening to the child's cries when they treat his wounds, otherwise he sleeps soundly while the TV plays children's programs in Joe DiMaggio Hospital... a place tailored more for children than Disney Land.

My son will be okay. I hope... fifteen years old, in a car accident with that one kid you never want your kid driving with but he always insists is a good driver. As a matter of fact, he insisted he was a "safe driver" just yesterday while hooked up to a pain pump and his arm wrapped up like a mummy in a sling while they are waiting for the swelling to go down enough to put a cast on it. Well, when they are sure the surgery on it went well enough and the two pins in it are okay... Yes, his friend is a really safe driver, that is why they hit a palm tree. I think you can chalk this up to being a teenager, any parent of a teenager knows what it like to watch kids grow up, go in cars with kids you don't think are safe drivers and take chances and risks and grow. Part of growing I suppose is getting hurt, learning how to heal, learning how to adapt and use your left arm for a few months.

Those are normal things we all have to go through, all of humanity or anyone who has ever tried raising a teenager or watched a close friend or relative attempt to raise a teenager. Raising a child is after all is the illusion of being in control. It is a thin veil of make believe and waiting for that illusion to come crashing down fast and hopefully not too hard.

Living through a catastrophic earthquake is not something we all have to go through, it is not a normal part of life though all areas have their floods, twisters, hurricanes and volcanoes that go along with living on Planet Earth. However, this particular year the earth seems to be quaking a lot. Argentina, Haiti, California, who is next? Can earthquakes be connected to El Nino? Is there such a thing as "earthquake weather" or is it some astrological aspects written in some astronomical code of mars square Saturn or Saturn opposite Uranus or Pluto conjunct five other planets in Capricorn? Does it have to do with sunspots far away? Is that anymore crazy than an astrological aspect? Not sure, don't know but I do know they are looking at sudden sun spot activity after a long quiet period as a possible indicator of earthquakes. And, then...after one big earthquake the rest of the tectonic plates must catch up and shift a bit and find their new groove.

I imagine my son is lucky to be alive (seriously) and only has a messed up elbow and nice new pins in it allowing it to heal. I imagine the parents of the little boy in the next bed is lucky to be alive and did not die like his sibling or friends. I imagine anyone who made it through the earthquake is lucky to be alive.

We are all lucky in one way or another. We are lucky to wake up every morning and watch the first rays of sunshine reach across the dark sky and we have the chance to watch that same sunset in the evening and the stars come out at night. We are lucky enough to feel the rain wash over our face and enjoy the scent of magnolias and frangipangis or whatever flower is blooming on the street where you live. And, if its winter or it's raining and you are inside you can smell the scent of your mother's chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven or your favorite perfume from Victoria Secrets. Scent, sight, sounds... the sounds of the sea or your favorite song playing. We are always lucky in some way. Lucky we have love in our life or the possibility of love or the dream of love. Friends, family...

Everywhere you go around these parts you see someone comforting or listening to a friend talk. Everywhere people are helping or wishing they could do more whether it's five dollars at the grocery store or texting on your phone to a site that helps in Haiti. People with money are sending their private planes to Haiti filled with medication. Local hospital workers watch on TV as they see teams from their hospital working on someone in Haiti... a cheer goes up, a sense of pride and feeling that in some small way they can make a difference.

No one know Haiti better than people in Miami. It is a long, long road back to normalcy and there has been no normal in Haiti for a long, long time. The beautiful forests have been cut down and sold away for fast money and money is always needed in a country where the average person makes less than $400 in American Money. AND...that includes the wealthy people who lived in some parts and made a lot more money than the average person who is barely making $200 a year, it' an average...HIGH HIGH with low, low, low... an average. Many would be happy to make $400 a year.

I'm lucky to be able to be here to party with my kids for my youngest daughter's 18th birthday and they did party. And, then the next day I was lucky enough to be with my kids while they partied in their brother's hospital room waiting for him to go into OR and to recover. Sushi, chocolate, coffee... my kid's preferred party treats. My older son went and bought out Mt. Sinai's sushi and he came back in the room and put it down on his drugged out sibling's stomach and said, "okay who needs lunch" lol... they are a hardy lot with a good sense of humor and sometimes crummy friends... mixed in with the really great friends. Of course the teenager waiting to be transferred to Joe DiMaggio for Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery could not eat, he just smiled and basked in the glow of being around his siblings.

Sadly, the little boy in the next bed will not be able to party with his younger sibling that died...

Don't believe anyone that says it is impossible to make a difference in Haiti. To those people holding up the box of corneas that went bad waiting to be used. For every problem there is a story of victory and salvation. Focus on the good..focus on ways to help.

Lots of ways to help...

So.... aside from online sites with banners these are some of the signs I see in my neighborhood. That and watching the man who runs the Payless on 15th Avenue giving comfort and listening to his friend talk who lost most of his family in the Earthquake. A very sweet man, a good manager who runs a nice store and is always nice to his customers and friends who stop in to say hi. There were no high fives or laughter in his store the other day as he listened to his friend talk while trying to hold back tears as he told of the news he had received from Haiti about his family members who did not make it. The sweet store manager assured him he could come in, anytime he wanted to talk... his friend nodded, thanked him... walked out of the store with tears in his eyes looking numb and in shock.

It's a very personal tragedy in Miami more than in other parts of the world where it is being felt, everyone cares... everyone is giving money and trying to help but in Miami we listen to the cries of survivors in the next bed or talking to friends in the grocery store or on the street.

As my brother said the other day, there isn't a day as a real estate appraiser he doesn't go into some house, owned by a Haitian decorated in Haitian art with people speaking patois and all those faces are real to him, people he wonders on if they lost loved ones and how they will go on. He has been helping at a local television station answering phones for people calling in to donate money. Last night he was at BJs buying nosh and things for his nephew and he brought sushi and snacks and two copies of what he jokingly said was porn for my son... Motor Trends :) to take your smiles where you can... party when you can, watch a sunrise or a sunset, give a hug, help a friend, give thanks that you are alive.

And, when you see a sign... donate, do what you can... every bit helps, every little bit or big bit so do you bit.

Thank you ... Besos Bobbi


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