Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Truth, or dare

This is long past due; I have been working on it since shortly after I returned from Haiti.  I have been like an artist, working slowly to get it just right.  Well it is not perfect and never will be, but it is honest, raw and hopefully somewhat encapsulates my thoughts about life post Haiti. Enjoy!

Remember that childhood game of Truth or Dare.  I have always been willing to take risks so I usually picked dare.  As a result, I occasionally found myself running naked through the snow, eating disgusting things or swimming in cow manure.  Well today I am mixing it up and picking Truth...

The truth.  Who am I?  It seems like such a simple question with an equally simple answer.  I am Vern, Veronica, Mom or V. I am a mother, a runner, a reader, and at times a writer. But who am I really?  After visiting Haiti for eleven days, I don't really know. I feel like a new person and I am questioning many of the roles, decisions and habits pre Haiti. To be honest, my whole view of life and the world has been forever changed.  I can't go back and honestly I wouldn't want to, but I am struggling as to how to move forward knowing the truths that I now understand more intimately than before:

  • There are millions of people starving in the world
  • There are thousands of orphans needing a home (US and abroad)
  • There are still millions of people who live without water, toilets and electricity
  • There are good people dying everyday simply because they lack basic healthcare
  • Haitians are generally happy with what they have... which is also generally very little
  • Obesity is an epidemic in the US
  • Rates of diabetes in the US are at all time high
  • People in US spend more on date night than the average Haitian family annual income
  • Depression rates is US are higher than in Haiti
I could go on and on and on with other truths, but I will stop there.  Just think about these facts for a few minutes.  It just seems like there is a real imbalance of resources in the world.  While people starve to death in Haiti and Africa, Americans struggle with obesity, diabetes, depression and other related health issues that are often times related to or caused by excess--too much.  And unlike what most would have you believe,  just because you have a lot of stuff or money or you happen to be skinny does not mean you are necessarily healthy or happy. Here in the US most people want more than they have and in reality we already have more than we could ever use in our lifetime.  And yet many Americans are still unhappy and ungrateful for the blessings in their lives...

Another Truth and this one is personal...
With the money I spent to send Jeff to the Cotton Bowl, a Haitian family could have lived for an entire year.  A WHOLE DAMN YEAR PEOPLE!!!  And for that I feel a bit ashamed and embarrassed.  I get it; people say it is the American Way to participate in such events and festivities. And we had the money to go and we worked hard for our money and we live frugally blah blah blah. But still I feel like it is excessive and my mind wanders to the people I could have helped with that money.  I can't undo that though so I must exhale and let it go.

I do not have it all figured out yet, not even close.  I am not sure who I am today, but I do know this: I am going to do better.  I am going to think more about my spending habits.  I am going to donate more to organizations helping those in underdeveloped countries or even right here in the US.  Places like God's Littlest Angels who are truly doing God's work in helping those less fortunate, the orphaned children of Haiti. And I am going to figure out a way to get back to Haiti as soon as possible.  God has a plan for me, I am just not completely clear on exactly what it is.

 A cheap beach ball brought so much joy to so many!

As a volunteer, I was treated like a celebrity and welcomed with open arms, enthusiasm and acceptance; I was truly blessed to serve these orphans. 

So who am I right now?  Right now, I am a woman considering major lifestyle changes that more than likely will take place without the support of my husband.  I won't lie, it is a scary person to be. Someone on the edge of their life, considering jumping off the cliff into a new way of living.

 I will leave you with this:

Vern out

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