My candle lit in Louisiana ... for Kitty!
As I get older, I've come to realize that there are a lot of bad things in the world ... people, disease, natural disasters and all sorts of tragedies that just don't make sense.
This past week has had its own share of tragedies ...
The annual regatta in Dauphin Island, Alabama was turned upside down when bad weather came out of nowhere and capsized several boats. At least 40 people were pulled from the water, two have died, and four others are still missing. It's a small world, as I learned this morning that a local guy I went to school with and keep in touch via Facebook happened to be in that storm. Luckily, he and his sailboat are fine minus a bimini and sails. He wasn't in the regatta, but was moving his boat from Mexico and happened to be in the area.
Nepal had a massive earthquake, killing at least 4000 people and destroying historical and beautiful monuments as well. Some 200 climbers were stranded on Mt. Everest, and attempts are being made for their rescue. Nepal is in dire need, and I can only imagine the agony that the survivors are going through. They've lost loved ones, they've lost their homes, they're hungry, thirsty, cold and tired.
I remember how miserable we were after Hurricane Katrina, with no electricity during an extremely hot and humid summer and no easy access to food, water or gas. It sucked, but it was nothing compared to what the Nepalese people are going through.
Then the tragedy that hit home the most ... a fellow cruiser-in-the-making lost her beloved daughter, Fiona "Kitty", just one day after celebrating her 5th birthday. Kitty was at the Kemah Marina with her father, who was working on their sailboat. In an instant, Kitty had disappeared. Kitty was found by Texas Equusearch under a dock near the family's sailboat the next morning ... she was gone.
Photo credit from link above ...
None of these tragedies make sense ... there are no answers to justify these events. I learned a long time ago that bad things happen to good people. When I was in second grade, my 13 year old step-sister that I adored passed away in a freak accident ... also a drowning. She lived with her mom, who found her in the bathtub. She had an epileptic seizure at the wrong time.
There's no rhyme or reason, and in my opinion, these tragedies are random. They can happen to any of us. No matter how careful we are, we can't guarantee that we'll avoid tragedy. Heck, my step-sister was at home. Staying locked up inside doesn't guarantee your safety.
So many sad stories, that I usually choose not to write about them. However, all of these stories remind me of something ... there are risks everywhere, so we may as well live our lives and let our children live theirs. My step-sister should not have had her privacy taken away while bathing, the regatta participants should not be judged for enjoying their passion of sailing, climbing on Mt. Everest shouldn't be stopped, and Kitty should not have been prevented from enjoying the freedom of riding her bike and playing near her father.
Hope I'm not rambling, but my thoughts are all over the place.
Bad things happen to good people, but it's times like these that prove that there is still good in the world. Folks came together during the regatta to rescue people from the water, aide is being sent to Nepal from countries around the world, and people have come together to support Kitty's family.
While I don't know Kitty's mother personally, she's a Facebook friend of mine and we're both members of an online group called "Women Who Sail". We both have been working towards a common goal ... cruising on our sailboats. I've viewed pictures of Kitty over the past year, and she brightened my day with her smile. It was obvious how much she was loved.
When the women of our mutual sailing group learned of Kitty's passing, the support for Kitty's family was amazing. A site was created for donations by a family friend for help towards the family's funeral expenses and loss of work. This site was shared, including among the women of our group. Many of us lit a candle or a light on our boats to show our grief. It warmed my heart to see so many pictures and comments from women all over the world ... and I mean all over the world! I think that Kitty's family has felt our concern and compassion too. Kitty's funeral is today.
In a matter of days, the donation goal was met! It just goes to show that every little bit helps. I wasn't able to donate as much as I'd like, but I donated what I could ... it was yet another way to show I cared. Hopefully I'll never be in such a situation.
Texas Equusearch, the organization that searched for and found Kitty, has been struggling financially and close to closing their doors. Kitty's family has asked that if you make a donation, consider making one to them. They promised the family that they wouldn't give up, and they didn't. These are true heroes.
Kitty and her family are in our thoughts today, and will be for many days to come ... a very difficult day indeed.
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!