Monday, 9 February 2009

A Grateful, Thankful Heart!

I'm sitting here tonight in my comfortable home, with my beloved Geek Boy happily tapping away on his laptop in the other room, knowing that my brother is packing for a much-awaited holiday and my parents are arguing about who will put the dog downstairs for the night. And I have a grateful, thankful heart because I know there are so many people in Australia right now who don't have these assurances.

Most of you will be aware by now (through blogland if not the news) that devastating fires have been, and are still, raging through parts of Victoria. Each time I see a new report, an update on what is happening, I'm moved to tears. This more than any other disaster that I can think of has hit me hard. Whole towns have been wiped out as huge and deadly firestorms swept through, often with so little warning that people escaped with only the clothes they were wearing - if that. The death toll is staggering - it stands at 86 as I write this, but is expected to climb much higher once emergency services personnel are able to get into all affected areas. Whole families have been lost, many still don't know whether their loved ones are safe. I think the not knowing would almost be worse than knowing and beginning the grieving. Grown men, tough Aussie blokes, are reduced to tears as they tell of what they've lost and it touches my heart.

Something of this magnitude, this scale, really puts life into perspective. Suddenly, those little irritations, those little inconveniences seem very small indeed and I realise that I have so much to be thankful for. So tonight, my post doesn't have it's usual touches of humour, but as you read it, I hope you'll join with me in praying for those who are affected by this devastating event. I pray for comfort for those who are experiencing loss of loved ones and property, for safekeeping for those who are on the front line (most volunteers) struggling to bring the fires under control, for compassion and generosity from the wider community in assisting the people affected and for wisdom for the decision makers in the clean up and rebuilding once the fires are out.

And I guess this is a reminder that life is uncertain - a T'shirt slogan that makes me smile says "Life is uncertain - eat desert first!" While I'm not sure this is the best nutritional advice, to me it's a reminder to make the most of every day and every opportunity. Embrace new adventures, give compliments and praise when it is due, practice random acts of kindness, let those close to you know how much you care and most important of all - never miss a chance to tell your family that you love them!! Sharing tears and Bear Hugs!

KRIS

15 comments:

Susan In Texas said...

My thoughts are with you during this horrible fire. Blogging has made the world so much smaller for me. It doesn't feel like you're halfway around the world when you're right there in the laptop at my sewing table. We're used to praying for rain here in Texas so you can be sure we won't forget you in your current plight.

Susan

Judy S. said...

Hi Kris,
Our paper this morning has a full page spread on the fires but not nearly the detail and compassion of your post. As I'm typing, I'm looking at a map to better understand where these fires are in relation to my blogging friends. You can be assured that all are in my thoughts as having lived in So. CA I'm very aware of the devastation brought by these wildfires. To think that someone would start one intentionally is just horrific! You are so right that sometimes it takes something of this magnitude to make us appreciate the little things of each and every day. Take care, friend.

Stina said...

I hope they get everything under control pretty soon!!! Its awful!!
My thoughts are with you all!!
Take care...

Gail said...

Fire season is always "worry season" and this is worse than anything I've seen in the US. Do you know if any of our quilting ladies have been affected? I've heard from quilters in CA that loosing their quilts and fabrics ranks way up on the loss scale, below family, pets, and homes of course. There should be something we could do for them. It's horrid, it seems to me to be on the Katrina scale.

Linda Lilly Cottage said...

Joining you in tears and prayers lovely Kris...
, we do need to live for today..treat it as a gift.....that is why it is called the present!
What else is ther to do??
Tears and kiss noises Linda

Lurline said...

Yes, I too feel unable to comprehend these tragedies!I said to Mum yesterday 'I will never whinge and complain again' - those poor burns victims - oh, the pain!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Noémia said...

My heart is with Australia sinse I heard the news of such tragedy.I can't imagine the scale of the horror that these people have lived and the pain of such large losses.
Hugs.

Kerryanne English said...

Beautiful sentiments Kris and so true. This tragedy has forced me to think about fire plans and preparing for such conditions. Had the wind turned in the opposite direction on Saturday we would have been in the line of the fire. I still can't believe this devastation is playing out less than a half hour down the road from here.
Life certainly is uncertain!!!
Hugs,
Kerryanne

Carin said...

Kris this is so tragic. I hope you and all my Aussie blog friends are safe. HUGS! Please keep us posted if there is anything that we can do from here for the familys that have been so devistated.
HUGS!!

Priscilla said...

It was a beautiful post Kris. I think of you all there Down Under every day and hope that the fires will be brought under control very soon now.

Pink Feather Paradise said...

I totally agree with every last word, we do need to take better care of everyone that surrounds us, and if everyone took the time to say a few nice words to everyone they met I think the world would be a much better place.

I am sending hope and love, and I wish I could send rain too! we have plenty here at the moment

Take care
Very big hugs
Alex x

Debbie Lane said...

My friends in Victoria are still in the path of the main fire front in the Beecham area(Alexandra is the name of their town). They are sheltering survivors in their house from Kingslake, and given over their landscaping business fenced compound to care for livestock that have
been found wandering. Tonite will be the decider on whether to evacuate to the coast or not. I am so scared for them,and so proud of them too,for pitching in under such awful circumstances. Another friend's mother-in-law has lost the house her husband built for her 62 years ago,but she managed to save her antique quilt and her photographs and took them with her when she was evacuated. Yet another friend is stuck inside her house, becos the smoke has brought on her severe asthma, but they are out of danger from the fire now. I am keeping pretty constant tabs on them all, I am so grateful that they are all OK so far. I just thort u might like to know about my friends, I'm proud to know them and I want people to know what it's like for Victorians at present.

a good yarn said...

Kris, you have captured the sentiments of so many of us about this terrible tragedy, with eloquence and compassion. To Debbie Lane, I sincerely hope that your friends are spared in the present conflagration.

It will take those involved a long time to deal with this.

Ann.

Sheryl said...

Kris, your post is so right... we have to be thankful for what we have....and make the most of every day....

Kymberly said...

Kris-
I cannot express in words how I am feeling as I read not only the words of news updates but also the words of all these wonderful women. My heart just breaks and the tears flow. My thoughts and prayers are with all. May God bless all with peace and comfort during this time of tragedy and loss.

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