For the last couple of days, I have been feeling what I term "psychically bruised." I was concerned about my daughter's car accident as the fellow she hit said some very peculiar things which set off all sorts of alarms. I found myself feeling drained.
If you read my previous post and looked at the damage inflicted by this accident, you will probably think that I am over blowing things. How could anything come of such minor damage? Indeed, the back bumper on our van has deeper scratches caused by when my husband forgot the 626 was parked behind the van (something I had warned him about as the van was the mom-mobile before it became the rolling wardrobe for my daughter) and he backed into it from a dead stop.
My reading of such things is rarely off however and on Monday I got a call from the insurance company saying that the guy was putting in a personal injury claim. I told the insurance company the entire story, including how he didn't go to the hospital right afterward, but took his van in for it's lube appointment after the police left. They are doing an investigation.
How could this possibly go wrong? Well, here's the story I keep on thinking about. A friend of mine who was in her 70s at the time was indicating a turn into her driveway, but swung a little to the left in order to negotiate the entrance. The guy behind her wasn't happy that she was slowing down and decided to pass her on the right (this was in Connecticut ). He went up over the curb and my friend actually hit him in her driveway. The fellow was cited for failure to control his vehicle.
However, he took her to court for damages. Since it was in Civil court, they didn't allow the ticket to be brought up, nor what he had been charged with. The Insurance Company appeared on my friend's side because she was in the right. They lost. The man was awarded damages. We decided that my friend was convicted of driving with white hair.
So, things can go terribly wrong and my daughter can be convicted of driving while being a teenager. My insurance rates are obviously going to go up and I am concerned that he will come after more.
This caused me to wonder why there was such a black cloud over my family. I had knocked my teeth out as a 12 year old and have had to deal with that, and the cancer and.. and.... Yes. I was having a pity party all for me.
I indulged myself in this only for a bit as I realized that I wasn't trapped under concrete in Haiti, I had food and water and none of my family or friends had died or were injured. I was angry though that people such as the guy my daughter hit could be so nasty and dishonest. I try to live my life in a way that I can be proud of, to think of others and to always be honest. I can often be frustrated that the world doesn't spin in the way I think it should.
Haiti is also on my mind. I am going to go down and make a donation to the Methodist Relief fund as 100% of the donations go to the aid. Nothing is siphoned off for administrative costs. My niece is going to go down as a volunteer at some later date. I must admit that it was all I could do to keep my mouth shut when my daughter made plans to get a spray tan before she went to the formal on Saturday night. I almost said "why don't you give the money for Haiti's relief instead? You don't really need to spend that $25 in that way."
But she is a teenager. One who cried when my mother-in-law told her the story of my husband asking for some soda in the airport in Boston in 1967 because he was thirsty. She couldn't give it to him as they had next to no money. Everything had been left behind in Cuba and life for their family was precarious until if and/or when my husband's father would be released from the Cuban government to join them. She is still too self-centered to understand the silliness of having her skin artificially darkened when so much else could be done with that money. It's not my money. She worked for it and she can spend it how she wishes no matter how frivolous I might think it is.
At one of my quilting groups the other day one of the quilters mentioned that she couldn't figure out why the buildings weren't built to sustain earthquake damage. I answered that making rules and regulations for building structures to be earthquake resistant is dependent upon having someone write the codes and enforcing them. This requires a strong government and one which isn't corrupted in such a way that one can bribe their way out of compliance, something which Haiti hasn't had. Building structures to be earthquake reisistant is also expensive. You need the re-inforcing materials as well as concrete factories to make the materials to put in deep footings, something I understand the country was lacking. The degree of poverty that these people have suffered for years is beyond the understanding of most Americans.
I also watched the Today Show today where the parents of the missing Lynn University students were on. One of them was blaming the U.S. government for not going in and digging their students out.
While I understand this was his grief and mental anguish talking, I also felt it was a case where we cannot really grasp the difficulties involved in this project. We cannot go in and overrun a country with our military in the name of helping. We have to work with the government of Haiti no matter what we might think is the "correct" way of doing things.
The infrastructure, i.e. good roads, ports, and accessibility, was lacking before the earthquake. Now, it is non-existent. I would imagine that back-hoes and bulldozers are in short supply as well. Surely there weren't a lot of them in Haiti before (as again, they are expensive), and I would imagine that some of the ones which were there were damaged.
While we look in frustration as the airplanes carrying support are turned away, we must remember that the airport, even when it hadn't been damaged, was only built for 2 - 3 flights coming in and out per day.
I'm not saying that more can't be done. I'm not saying that more shouldn't be done. Even though time is running out, we must be somewhat patient in our wishes to see things accomplished yet impatient in our financial response. After all, Haiti was one of the poorest, if not the poorest country in the Americas for many years before this happened and we as a country weren't doing much. I applaud all of the religious groups who have done relief. I must say that I am more than a little proud of the amount of aid which Ohio has given over the years. I hope that this aid can be strengthened and will continue for months afterward. While we have made a large contribution now, more will be needed later.
For ideas on where to donate or how to make a difference: