Gig Line: What would you take with you?

Published 2:39 pm Saturday, March 26, 2022

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It’s natural to have things on our mind every day. Maybe something to do with our work; maybe a bill that needs to be paid; maybe a friend or someone we love is sick or going through a hard time. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a good thing we’re “studying on” like an upcoming vacation or the purchase of a new car – but which car? Maybe it’s an even bigger decision about buying a home or selling one – should we or shouldn’t we?

But what if sirens deafened your ears because bombs were subject to drop close by or where your extended family live? What if you had to leave your home and the country that you love at the urging of your husband or boyfriend to protect you from pending doom but in doing so, you’d be separated from him, possibly forever?

What would we do if we were facing that horror? Dear Heavenly Father, what would we do?

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I fully understand that sitting here in the comforts of my home, I can’t begin to fathom the horrific circumstance we’re seeing unfold daily in Ukraine. I don’t have a clue what I would do or where I would go because my intended destination – like all the women and children running for their lives – might be another target for annihilation? Would you even be safe there? This is so terrible seeing in real time what is taking place over there.

We have nothing to complain about – absolutely nothing! We are so blessed. Our lives are so different and, for the most part, so peaceful. We are Americans and by nature we’re caring, loving patriots and our hearts are heavy to witness suffering no matter the origin. I admit it, I’m a worrier. Even though we’re far away from the bomb ridden landscape in Ukraine, I think about them often. I can’t help it. Their situation represents massive suffering, heartache and extreme hardship. Sometimes the live interviews with the women fleeing the danger are immersed in an extended complex danger like lack of medication, lack of communication with loved ones, false security they could depend on escaping to an alternate location only to realize unfortunately it is not true, lack of water, food . . . Imagine no clean place to change their babies and prevent painful diaper rashes? What we see is a snippet, a glimpse.

For all the news coverage we see and hear, we’re hoping always that a good change has occurred, that a cease fire is underway or that some form of massive help has been approved to help Ukrainians defend themselves in the most effective way, but unfortunately, much of the news stays the same. Just more destruction, more deaths, more broken hearts. Dear Lord, help us help them.

The images I see have shown a few wheelchairs being pushed through the rubble, but surprisingly very few. How is that possible? Did all the older folks stay back in peril because they had no means to move away from their targeted homes? Is it because they don’t have the chairs or someone to assist them? How long will they be without medicine and no pharmacies to refill prescriptions? And what about the children at the hospital that was destroyed who have cancer, who are on chemo or radiation?

It is true that we are here and they are there, but just because we’re so far away, we still care deeply. Our hearts are broken for them. We find fewer and fewer valid excuses for not doing more; we witness long trenches (mass graves) dug for the purpose of discarding the bodies of the dead that have been bagged and dumped because there is no other alternative to bury them, to celebrate their lives, to mourn as neighbors, friends and family members. It’s so, so sad.

What would you take with you in the small suitcase or satchel that you can carry? Would you take legal papers (property deeds, wills, marriage certificates, death certificates and medical records)? Prescriptions? Family photos? Clean underwear, socks?

It’s clear to see the human struggle, the fatigue, the stress, not to mention how weary they are toting the few prized possessions they chose to take for their dreadful journey. God bless them.

I guess the most important thing for us to do is pray. Pray for help that matters most. Pray that the courage and faith of the Ukrainian people will be rewarded and that this stinking, dirty rotten war and invasion of Ukraine will cease – permanently. We should pray that the children who have lost their parents, grandparents and siblings will someday recover from the trauma and heartbreak of what their young eyes have seen and that they will have adequate medical, emotional and mental health care in dealing with the PTSD aftermath.

On the other hand, aside from the horrible, we see the goodness of those who have jumped in to help in any way they can. Even with all the Ukrainians have been up against, they have stuck together and interviews of our American men and women who have or who are preparing to travel to Ukraine to help is touching. Just yesterday, there was an interview with a man from New Jersey who felt he was strong, willing and able to go there and lend his hand to do whatever he was asked, whether to serve food, wrap bandages, whatever he would be most needed for. Thank you, red blooded Americans and all other people around the world for demonstrating the love we all wish we could offer!

Okay, I’ll step off my soap box for now. Sometimes I must vent and if I have offended anyone, I apologize. Not for my opinions – I stand steadfast on that and now even more than ever – rather, out of courtesy.

Last week, I received some interesting veteran news and a new acknowledgement of Vietnam veterans that I’ll discuss next week in Gig Line. To get your free Dare County Veterans Discount Card, please call me at 252-202-2058 or call Patty O’Sullivan (VSO) at 252-475-5604. Requirements? Proof of your permanent residence in Dare County (lease in your name) or Dare County tax bill copy as a real estate property owner (improved or unimproved); our review of your DD-214 to see that your separation from service was under honorable conditions and lastly, your driver license (doesn’t have to be a North Carolina license). The process takes all of 10 minutes and well worth it to be eligible for discounts at over 100 businesses on the Outer Banks!

Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy! Take care of yourselves and those you love and especially when the “going gets rough” consider our blessings and how much better off we are in these beautiful United States of America! As always, I love you all! Stay tuned!