Ben and Katie in Haiti

Dr. Carroll's, Live From Haiti

                       What does it mean to really make a contribution? Ask Katie, she will tell you:

11/16/2009 Ben and Katie, newlyweds announce to their bosses and the world, “We are moving to Haiti?”

11/23/2009 Katie blogs, “I feel a strange power when I window shop, when I see a commercial – I can’t buy anything even if I want to. It’s really cool.”

12/29/2009 Ben and Katie leave DFW for Port-au-Prince. They dream of making a difference. Of course, they also are enamored with the vast and contrasting beauty of this new home to which they journey.

Katie remembers well the words of C.S. Lewis in Chronicles of Narnia, “Make your choice, adventurous Stranger; Strike the bell and bide the danger, Or wonder, till it drives you mad, What would have followed if you had.”

Ben and Katie did. Little knowing what awaited their advent.

1/12/ 2010 Ben and Katie feel the first tremors rapidly becoming the catastrophic 7.0 magnitude quake.

1/20/2010 Katie, back on her blog, “I know disaster is disaster and pain is pain, but there’s something incredibly creepy and psychologically upsetting about earthquakes, and aftershocks…. the GROUND is MOVING. I feel them all the time, even when they’re not happening.”

Later she posts, “Every person you can see is missing something. But there were 3 physical therapists at Espoir yesterday, praise God, and so the hard work of getting moving again is beginning.”

From: benandkaitieinhaiti

4/11/2010 A bunch of kids played with a well-loved and broken-down chalkboard.

     If you dare, go to:  Warning: You may never be the same. 

4/17/2010 “…to be free is dangerous and the act of making us free is dangerous.” Kat

Thanks for this true story to my friend, Gayle, and Kaitie’s amazing blog.

Mimi’s Rules

Uh…arg…oh my gosh,

Oh…Mimi…What rule is this?

     Freckled faced, handsome in spite of his pug nose, thirteen-year-old Carl stared blankly at me across the bar that separated the kitchen and the family room. One, maybe both of us, mouths suspended, said nothing. What rule was it? Our rules suddenly so cumbersome neither could conjure a guess.

     Carl shrugged; his pause stole the urgency. Then off to the solace of his room and whatever game currently captured his attention. Betty followed to hers, pleasingly content that her brother had not exactly won their latest squabble.

     Sinking back into the comfort of an easy chair now molded to the contours of my body from long hours of reading, grading papers and pondering, I asked myself, “What rule is it? How many rules do we have anyway? There weren’t always so many.”

    My freshman year in college our orientation teacher explained that rules are made because someone’s boundaries are not respected. Right on! So when children learn responsibilities and boundaries, how do we define them? Are ten enough? Do we need as many as, say, Congress? 

      Are rules made to help, or rule? …Sobering…

      Nightfall came. The questions nagged and gnawed at my brain.

     Finally morning dawned. Ahh, mornings. Everything looks brighter with yesterday in the backdrop. Settling into my chair before the kids began another cacophony: “Get out of my room!” “Why don’t you mind your own business?” “I’m bored.” “Do I have to?” new thoughts emerged. Quickly penning a note with squigglies and smiley faces, the new sign on the fridge read:  

      Take care of yourself.

      Take care of your space.

      Make a contribution.

      Easy rules to follow. Umm, well…sorta.

     The kids figured the first two out pretty fast. The third one was a kicker. Three teens and one almost, tried quickly to map out the shortest and easiest possible contribution. After all, biking in the park and running with their friends was lots more important. 

     “Not so fast, what one person feels is a contribution may not be so to another.  A contribution is a compact! We both agree,” I chided, deciding we could get to Random Acts of Kindness later.

     Well, we stuck by those simple rules. Now they have wings. Little one’s of their own occupy new hopes and dreams.

     Bon voyage! From this Mimi, BJ, to four very special grandchildren.