"When I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say to me 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" Fred Rogers aka Mr. Rogers
Today at 10:37 AM today our region will observe a moment of silence on the 3-week anniversary of the Oso mudslide. It seems like forever and it seems like yesterday.
The clinic I work in half-time is in Arlington. We have clients who live in the Oso/Darrington area. All of us seem to know someone who has been directly affected by this tragedy. We have all been touched deeply by the stories of loss, heroism and deep tragedy. This disaster feels personal.
For me, the most striking thing about the Oso mudslide is the helpers. They are searching the debris pile for victims. They are moving trees, cars, mud. They are feeding, clothing & sheltering people. They have brought their dogs both to search and to comfort the searchers. They have shown strength, courage, resilience, and compassion that seems limitless. My friend, Lindsay, tells the story of someone she knows who was assisting in the search for survivors at the slide and came across a victim. In Lindsay's words "He doubted his ability to do the task of unearthing the victim but quickly realized he was in the presence of the victim's young adult son. At that point, in a selfless and honorable attempt at offering closure, he used his bare hands to excavate the man from the mud and debris. IT TOOK HIM 3 HOURS." Lindsay's friend did not tell her this story until a week later. Lindsay goes on to say "His main concern was that he couldn't do more. He was heart-broken for the young man who had lost his father." That selfless push to go beyond what is humanly possible is awe-inspiring to me. There is so much suffering but so much strength.
With respect for and in remembrance of those lost, the survivors and the communities impacted by the Oso mudslide from Jim & I here at the end of the road.