Omitting a Natural Disaster

11.6.12

One of my readers contacted me and was disappointed that I hadn’t mentioned Superstorm Sandy. First of all he’s one of my favorite readers and when I get an email from him or a comment my heart soars and I believe that my little corner of the web is bringing people pleasure. His few words might be more important than mine, they keep me in check, they guide me.

There are a few of you like him, voices I’ve come to trust as we’ve journeyed together these last few years. Thank you for that.

I didn’t talk about the devastation of Superstorm Sandy because I didn’t know a respectful way to make it happen. I wrote a couple of articles about the need for FEMA for iVillage but they either got killed or my editors were without power. Those articles were never published. I wish they had been

We have family in the affected areas. They’re okay and they’re together but I don’t like to tell their stories. I didn’t want to go the tragiblogging route and post some bullshit about how we have to tell our kids we love them because people are having a terrible day/week/month/year. If I did that I’d have to rewrite the same post daily because in addition New York there’s Rwanda, Columbia and the Smoky Mountains that seem to be in semi-permanant states of catastrophe. I don’t break news, I react to it. I’m not sure that my reaction mattered those first few days.

My sense was also that no one in the affected areas would be on my blog. I was wrong.

I’ve given money to the Red Cross and later this week I’ll be giving blood. Giving blood is a monumental nightmare for me. No matter how well I prepare (no exercise for 24 hours ahead of time and plenty of fluids) I always get dehydrated and land in bed with a debilitating headache but I always give and I give fairly often. You see I’m a universal donor because I’m type O-Negative and a few years ago I rolled up my sleeves for Children’s Hospital and found that I’m CMV negative so I try to trek down there every so often as I know that kids with compromised immune systems really need that CMV negative blood.

I didn’t write about Superstorm Sandy because I didn’t know what to say. I still don’t know what to say. It seems that the folks from Occupy Wall Street have set up an Occupy Sandy relief center in Brooklyn. I’ve sent coolers and flashlights via their Amazon Gift Registry and feel confident that they will be distributed to folks who really need them. I’ve also orded tee shirts for our family. I know it does less than sending product directly to affected areas but it does something, including supporting a local artist.

I’m not comfortable with identifying a problem and not seeing solutions. Please, let me know what you’re doing in the comments.