Welcome to the Playroom at 14 Peonystreet!

This blog started in the "playroom". That's what DH calls artwork- playing. Wish I could live in the "playroom" forever.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

How You Can Help Victims of Natural Disasters

Hello, Everyone!
I'm afraid this is the one time (hopefully the only time) I won't be writing about happy thoughts or playful talk.  I apologize for that-but -- there is hope!  Read on!
As you probably know, there has been horrific weather with horrific results in Northern Alabama.  I live not too far from there, within three miles of the AL state line.  But there was also a tornado that came to my neighborhood-- not my house-- but just up the road a piece, within a mile from here.

All this has put my emotions in a wreck, having experienced first hand Hurricane Andrew in 1992.  Although that was 19 years ago, the emotions are just as raw and painful memories abound.  That was a very terrible time in my life, one that is hard to talk about.  But I had angels watching over me and some angels came to my rescue.  
So-- I'd like to write to you about how you can be someone's angel-- and it doesn't have to be this tornado or that hurricane-- anyone who has suffered sudden, violent, catastrophic loss.   How do you spot them?  They may just be staring into space, or mentioning they were there when it happened, or crying.
Here are some things that you can do to help if you come across a victim of a natural disaster, who are in the immediate stages- day of, days after incident:
1.  Ask them if they need anything.  Chances are, they're going to be in a state of shock, they're not going to be even able to tell you what in the world they need.   Just ask, this will often break the ice and the tears and emotions will begin pouring out.  Don't be afraid of this emotional outpouring--It is a good thing.   It is the beginning of being able to verbalize what has just happened to them.  Whatever they say may not even make sense to themselves or you, just listen.
2.   Offer them a cool drink of water, a tissue, a cup of coffee (they probably need water more than coffee, though).  They will eventually calm down and be able to talk a little bit.  Water and a tissue and and understanding listener go a long way.  Let them do the talking.
3.  If they need medical help, of course  guide them to the nearest medical facility, and if they don't need medical help, but spiritual, mental, or social help, try to guide them to the nearest place to find what they need.    This would be the job of the Disaster Relief folks, the Red Cross or the Emergency Rescue and Fire Squad.  If they aren't there yet, you can at least hold their hand until they get there.--And while you're waiting, say a prayer-- out loud-- for them, for their safety and peace of mind.  God hears and answers our prayers.
4.  People in emergencies are in a state of shock so they need to feel that someone cares and that they are not isolated.   They often feel so bad, they feel they may just die.  But after a little care, the shock will wear off, and after their basic survival needs have been met, they will begin to have a better sense of well- being. 
5.  Not long after that though, they may begin to start grieving, even if there was no loss of life.   Rembember there has been a significant life- changing event that has just happened.  Once they realize they are going to survive, the grief will set in.  Everyone handles grieving in a different way, but it is a process that will happen, sooner or later.  Again, be there, and just listen.  It is good for them to talk about it.
6.  Years later, the pain eases, but it will never be forgotten, even if some very good things have happened since then.  It is a scar that remains.  We  all carry scars in one way or another-- this is our  human experience.  Our physically wounded and non-wounded soldiers have the same problems-- grieving the loss of the months/years spent in war-- their lives are never the same either. 
Many of us are those "walking-wounded" as well- with no apparent physical scars.  If  you are in a position to do so, help as much as you can and keep your listening ears fully engaged.  Everyone has a story.  You never know when you may need someone to listen to yours, and I believe that whatever you put "out there" into the universe, will come back to you.
God bless my three women angels who came to my rescue in Cocoa Beach, Florida in 1992.  You know who you are!  Thank you so much for taking the time to wipe my tears and calm my fears, and more, and for reading to me from the Bible.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Greetings from the Rose Garden

Just in time for Easter!
Here are some Roses for you, and
some other pretty things,
with a promise of a
Peony Bud for
things to come!
Happy Easter, and
may God Bless You today!


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