Saturday, April 30, 2011

Words and Worms

In the days following my brother's death, my husband and I went out to his house (different state) to help watch his kids: putting them on the school bus, greeting them as they were dropped off, helping with homework and then playtime before their mom picked them up in the evening.

On one of these mornings, while we fed the kids breakfast, the youngest read to us from one of her books. Having read books to my eight nieces and nephews, it's a sweet treat when one reads to you.

Following that, we stepped outside to walk to the school bus stop. After torrential springtime rains the night before, the driveway and roadway were covered by innumerable worms, all dying as the fickle sunshine slowly cooked them.

When I saw the near-carpet of worms, I could not help but think of Japan and many other major disasters. This morning's news contained continuing coverage of the tornado damage in Alabama and other parts of the US, which brought this memory fresh to mind again. Like the night's storm for the worms, these major devastations adversely affected the lives of countless people. It leaves one feeling pretty helpless...

Like my brother, we were helpless to help those gone. But there were the ones left behind, and we bent down with fingers and sticks to save the worms we could.

That afternoon, we helped with homework, listened to the youngest read from her book, and made paper boats which we tested in the bathtub. (Apparently they work well until you drop a My Little Pony on them. :P) While my brother is gone, these kids are left behind. The laundry could wait; the household sorting could wait. These moments are precious to us.

And hopefully with the worms we left a mark in their young minds ~ that even in the face of mass devastation, there is something you can do to help those left behind.

When the world make you feel small and helpless,
There is still that flickering light of hope,
Even the smallest hand can help.

-ESA

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