As part of FL CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team), we are forced to reposition outside of the storm surge area. As a consequence during the logistical move I will be out of the loop for most of the afternoon and evening. We will respond to recovery efforts from positions East of SWFL.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to check back in and give updates later tonight.
To ensure continuance of communication, CTH has auto-scheduled posts set up throughout the next week which will run automatically without any need for human data entry. [ie. the website is secure and will function as normal – and site admins are disbursed throughout unaffected timezones] Other than my absence (hopefully sporadic), you should not see any disruption.
What can YOU DO?
Please pray for the people of Florida. This is an extremely stressful time for many people, including a significant number of elderly. Unfortunately, due to modern disconnection a considerable number of people do not have frequent contact with family.
If you know people in Florida, please just reach out to them via social media and let them know they are in your thoughts and prayers. You don’t have to call them, your don’t need to look for a response, but a short note -just touching base- via social media (facebook etc.), with kind words, can mean the world to people who might be feeling isolated.
Trust me, I’ve been seeing and reassuring those faces all day. It matters.
People are buried in that right now.
What I’m finding people need is just a kind word, a gentle ear, a warm heart and perhaps an appropriate dash of humor where possible.
Maybe you know someone, or one of your friends knows someone, anyone, who you might find via your social network. If so, just let them know two important details: #1) YOU CARE and are thinking of them. #2) THEY MATTER and are cherished by others.
If you can do this, trust me you will be providing a lifeline in multiple ways. The benefits are exponentially valuable to the recipient; and also to those of us who are hardened to the immediacy of crisis and need calm in order to focus on the urgent details in the week ahead.
The knowns and the unknowns continue to sort out as bullseye hours approach.
Windows for effective action are fewer and time frames shorter.
Some people are frozen into inactivity in such times; others pick up the pace.
We humans are quite the creation, with both limitations and capacities that are very real, even though they vary greatly from person to person.
Those of us far out away from these immediate danger can’t fix a thing, and many of those in the midst of have little capacity for fixing either. However, there is a primary thing that can be of great significant to every single person involved: our/your/my very presence can and does matter.
Some years after my sister-in-law died, and just after my husband died, my brother was sharing this with me: “… the people who were most meaningful to me during those days were the ones who had the ability and willingness to simply be with me. Didn’t feel compelled to try to fix. Didn’t forever try to explain how they felt. They were able to just Be. With. Me. Sometimes sitting with me in silence for a long, long time, because they accepted that There. Was. Nothing. They. Could. Do. to change the world I was caught in. The world I had to deal with for those moments, days, months…”
I have increasingly recognized since he told me that how very, very few people are capable of and willing to be PRESENT in helplessness with one who is suffering and having to risk it all. What grace is ours, if we will, just offer our presence.
And in saying that, those of you who express such feelings of helpnessness at “not being able to do something” – please recognize that your PRESENCE MATTERS.
Why is that so many have expressed in these threads, to those in Florida, “Please check in as soon as you can?” That’s easy – their presence matters to all of us. We want to know that “they are back among us….”
Well, when they do come back and answer roll call, your presence matters to them.
Your presence matters. You are not helpless. You, being alive in this moment, standing and watching, bearing witness, loving them – oh, my. This matters.
They are not alone. They know they are not alone. They know you are waiting to hear from them. No matter how long that takes.
Your presence matters. You don’t have to fix anything. Just keep loving. Your presence brings great value. Even when there are no words.
Oh yeah, and just for good measure, from the bottom of my heart and tip of my well calloused hands, please remember…
I love all y’all…