One of the things I hope to do in my lifetime is to become a disaster nurse.
I know. Those of you who know me and the messes I find myself in probably think I'm already a disaster nurse.
I have always wanted to do missionary nursing or disaster related nursing. I became obsessed with the news after 911, but it really wasn't until I watched the after effects of Hurricane Katrina that I decided I would like to someday become a nurse with special education in disasters and emergency preparedness.
I mean, it doesn't get any better than that for an OCD ambulance chaser, right? The planning and preparedness for the OCD and the disaster for the ambulance chaser... oh, the best of both worlds for me.
You know how the older generation (OK, just a little older than me...) can remember exactly where they were when JFK was assassinated? Or when Elvis died?
Well becoming an adult in the era of 24 hour news coverage has made so many disasters seem so close for me. 911. The Tsunami. Katrina. Now Haiti. I will remember them all.
I can remember sitting on my bed watching FOX news Shepherd Smith begging for help for those stuck in New Orleans. I still have those visions stuck in my head.
In the days following Katrina, I was ready to go to New Orleans. I had the paperwork printed off. I was ready to sign up and go. I had been asked to go, and I was ready to accept the challenge.
Then I remembered I had a family. Well, actually my husband reminded me ...
In a conversation that went something like this, "Are you crazy? No. You're not leaving me here with all of them..."
I had a bunch of little kids at home who were relying on me for... oh ... dinner... and laundry... and "mothering" in general. Needy little things, aren't they?
I have to admit I was a little heartbroken when I realized that I would not be going to New Orleans to help out in that disaster.
It was not the season of my life for such a trip.
It's still probably not the season of my life ... but a girl can dream. Someday, somehow, I will be a real disaster and emergency preparedness nurse ... not just an amateur one at home. Lord knows those kids have taught me everything I need to know for that role.
In the meantime I can do whatever needs to be done here to help those who are able to go to Haiti and around the globe.
One of the ways you can help is to text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti. They will just add it to your cell phone bill. If you have the carrier I have, they add that much in bogus charges every month, so you might as well send it to the people who need it.
Call your local Red Cross and ask what donations are needed.
Whatever the season of your life, I encourage you to get involved, get connected and make a difference for someone who needs you.
It's the best.