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"The Greatest Tragedy is indifference"

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Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Mary Oliver

Monday, January 18, 2010

Letter to Emma

Today we were driving in the car just enjoying the early morning drive back from an errand. Luke was with us and we were talking about what we were planning to do next and I informed you that we were going to get gas, then head to the grocery store. We first stopped at the gas station and I was in and out of the car, trying to stay warm, and as I fueled up, my thoughts kept drifting to Haiti. You won’t remember this, but Haiti was just hit by an earthquake that they say killed over 100,000 people. We have friends that are trying to get into Haiti to bring relief to a community there.

As I hurried back to my warm car after the fueling was finished I thought to myself how comfortable my life is..when I am cold I turn the heat up, then when I am warm, I turn it back down. These were my thoughts when you and Luke began asking if you could buy something at the grocery store. I began explaining, as I always do, that you do not need to purchase something everytime you walk into a store. I was telling you about the principal of giving, and briefly explained Haiti and how we should try and turn our thoughts to helping others and not always fill every moment thinking about ourselves. You became quiet in the back seat. I wondered, “she is just a little girl, look at her back there with her cute little floral fleece and her gold headband with the bow.” I kept thinking, “maybe I should not have said that about Haiti, why does she need to know about the suffering in the world, she is only seven.”

A mother struggles with these things. You want your children to stay young and carefree, innocent of the suffering in the world, but then you know you have to warn them, there is danger, bad things do happen to sweet innocent children. Do you prepare them for that possibility or protect them as if nothing bad will ever happen? I used to protect, with the older kids, now I realize it is a little of both. Protect, but allow your kids to see the pain in the world, and teach them how to approach it, showing that it is okay to be sad, to feel bad, to even cry for another person. Living life oblivious, as if nothing negative should ever happen to us, I believe, is just setting you up for disaster. I don’t want you to be shocked in life, to the point of not being able to deal with pain and disappointment when it does come. So we approach this sadness together about Haiti, with the hope you learn sensitivity to the world around you. I want you to appreciate being in a country where you have so much, knowing that gives you a responsibility to help those in need. I hope to teach you to care for and love people in need.

As we walked into the grocery store you grew excited with an idea you had. “I know”, you said, “we can have a hot chocolate stand, a lemonade stand won’t work because it is winter.” Luke caught on and we talked about our menu, what we would charge and how we would make sure the money went to the kids in Haiti. The whole idea got bigger and bigger as we walked through the store. It was so much fun to watch you and Luke take hold of the concept of helping someone in need! It even looked as if Luke forgot about buying something for himself. We all got more and more excited with our planning. So, off we go! Friday night we will have a Hot Chocolate stand after school on our front porch to raise money for Haiti.

I am not only hoping to help the precious children in Haiti, but I am also hoping to teach you a lesson.., “It is more blessed to give than receive.”

Love you, Mommy
Jan. 17th 2010

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