When my house got destroyed by fire, so many of you sent me gift cards and money and care packages. It was overwhelming and wonderful to have such a caring group looking out for me and made it so much easier to rebuild.
Now there are others who are facing far worse situations in the southern part of our country thanks to Katrina. It's heartbreaking to see the video and hear the stories of people whose lives have been devastated by Mother Nature.
One of my dearest friends back from my high school days, Suzanne St. Amand, has been living in New Orleans for the past few years. She's a wonderful, amazing, smart, talented person and I adore her. She's also a singer and before she moved to New Orleans, she was in a successful local Boston band called Violet Tide.
Anyway - when the hurricane hit, Suzanne took refuge at the hospital she worked at. (She teaches music therapy to children.) Now the hospital is being evacuated and there's been reports of people looting the place as well. So Suzanne is driving up to Wisconsin to be with her fiance. She doesn't have much to bring with her in terms of personal posessions or clothes.
Well, when I heard about this, and the fact that a couple friends wanted to put together a care package for her, my first thought was about all the support I'd received in my own recent homeless situation. And I decided I wanted to help Suzanne the way others have helped me. So it's my turn to send gift cards. And I want you to know that I'm doing it honor of all of you. Paying it forward, if you will, to help someone else who is now in greater need.
So, thank you again for all your well wishes and care packages. If any of you were still considering sending something to me, I would ask that you send it to hurricane victims instead. (Or send it to me to forward along.) I am doing great. I have everything I need to get by. And now others need the help so much more badly.
Someone has compiled a list of hurricane victims who are also writers. You can find it here. These are people who have "checked in" and are all right. But many of them may have suffered huge losses just the same.
Thanks for listening.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005