Saturday, January 15, 2011

Taking Stock....

"We are all strong enough to bear the sufferings of others"  ~ LA ROCHEFOUCAULD, Maximes (1678)

I was going to do a blog post about the fabulous day I had in town with my kiddies the other day, and the 3D movie we went and saw and the plaster mould characters we painted in a local shopping mall... or I could have also posted about the exciting bits and pieces I am currently handcutting ready for assemblage and completion, for Bread n Butter Factory.... or even a post on silly trivial things like the rate of growth our lawn has recently undertaken (believe me.. it is phenomenal!!), the new yard Chris is slowly building for our pool... or anything really!?

Yet my thoughts, and those of almost every other Aussie at the moment, keep turning to the flood tragedies our Eastern States cousins are all currently living through. Complete and utter devastation everywhere you look, they have lost homes, businesses, pets, furniture, their livelihoods and even more shattering, some have even lost their lives...

One of the most poignant stories out of this I have heard so far, and one that really hits home for us personally, is of a Mother and her 2 sons being washed away down a swollen river system whilst still in their car. The older of the 2 boys, an extremely brave and selfless 13yr old, insisted to rescuers that his younger brother be saved before himself (knowing full well that he himself could not swim) and together with his Mother, they pushed the younger boy out the window and into the arms of safety. Within moments of this happening however, the torrent of water became more violent and the rescuers, despite their greatest efforts and concerns, were unable to save them both. They were ultimately washed away to their deaths, and this is by far one of the greatest, most touching stories of heroism and bravery to come out of this disaster... yet also one of the most heartbreaking and devastating too. As a mother myself with 2 sons (and of course 2 daughters), I simply cannot fathom the breadth and depth of this tragedy... along with the many, many other stories that are coming our of this massive natural disaster on our doorsteps... and have been taking time out myself to just really take stock of everything that is important in our lives, our family, our children, our health, and our friends. And this particular story of a Mother and her 2 precious sons has really affected us. Our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to their families and friends, and to the poor little boy left behind who had to go through this absolutely terrifying experience, and actually witnessed his Mother and brother being washed away. And then my thoughts turn to my own children, and particularly in relation to this story, our sons...

Our own 2 big brave boys.. may they always stay safe and secure
So many tragic and heartbreaking stories (like the death of a poor little 4yr old boy) have come out of this disaster, some people have lost absolutely everything. And all on our own back doorsteps too. This is Australia, and things like this are not meant to happen here... are they?! Our thoughts, prayers and concern go out to each and everyone involved and just know that Australia is right behind you all. We are Aussies, and we are strong and resilient, and we will get through this together!

In fact, I was watching the news and Sunrise program this morning and they were reporting from all over affected parts of Brisbane, Queensland. They were showing the cleanup in progress and asking for volunteers (of any kind, but particularly plumbers, electricians, gas fitters etc). They were also reporting from the Volunteer Centres, where people are meant to go and sign themselves up if they want to pitch in and help... some 7000 people showed up this morning just wanting to help out!!! That is an absolutely phenomenal amount of community spirit and generosity, as these people are not being paid or compensated for their time and efforts, they are just there to help out because they want to... and I applaude you all! You are amazing people and should be commended and be so proud of yourselves! And as one guy they interviewed said, "It is good for the soul to help others" and I totally agree with you. They have been dubbed "The Suburban Army", and these people have no idea who house it is they are cleaning up, or whose possesions they are trying to salvage, they are just getting in there and doing it! And that is just amazing!
Our beautiful family... cherish the ones you love always!

The recovery and rebuilding effort will take months if not years in Queensland, and now also in neighbouring states too. It will be a long, slow process but the Queenslanders are a tough breed and I know they will pull through bigger and better than ever! And if you are thinking of holidaying anywhere soon, please still keep Queensland in mind. They desperately need their tourism industry to stay on track and there are many stunning locations over there untouched by the floods which are calling out for visitors. And also if you'd like to make a donation or need any further information on this flood crisis, please visit the "Sunrise" website (link above) and follow the links.

In a time of such tragedy and devastation, the human spirit has really come alive. And it has also made a lot of people not immediately affected stop and think too. Take stock of what is really important to you, and cherish it always. Something we should all do regularly really, not just in a time of crisis. And god bless all those immediately affected by these horrors and trail of destruction, our hearts go out to you all and you are in our thoughts and prayers always xox

xox K

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