A Plea for Help

I watched President Zelensky’s impassioned speech to Congress Wednesday morning and I must say I was most definitely moved to tears. Yes, I was actually crying. His message was powerful and truly from the heart. Then came the video. And again, many more tears. I do not have an answer to what we should do. But I will say this. We and the rest of the world must do something to help these people who are being injured and killed on a daily basis because of where they live. This is wrong on so many levels.

When Zelensky spoke about the planes dropping bombs on Pearl Habor that Sunday norming in December and comparing it to what’s going on now in Ukraine I was trying to imagine what that must have been like. And I just couldn’t.  And I don’t want to know. My mind went back to those air raid drills we had in elementary school. Sitting out in the hall with our heads down and covered by our little arms. As if that would’ve helped. Or hiding under our desks. How strange that feels to remember. It was a lifetime ago.

We can’t even begin to imagine what these people are going through. And how we would feel if it were happening to us. Would other countries come to our defense? Or would they stay silent, afraid it would come to us?

We all know the saying, there but for the grace of God… And it’s true.

The photos online are horrifying because they show the truth. Teenagers going to fight with their skateboard pads as part of their defense. A young girl with a lollipop in her mouth and a rifle in her hand. Childhoods forever lost. Apartments destroyed and homes and belongings totally lost. Families separated and not knowing when or if they’ll see each other again.

I’ve read a lot of stories about how the Ukrainian people are doing their parts to help. Families are learning to make Molotov cocktails from the internet so they can defend their homes or give them to the Ukrainian soldiers to help in the fight.

A retired seamstress who used to make evening wear and designer suits for Gucci is now sewing flak jackets in her home for the Ukrainian soldiers, using fabric and pieces of metal welded together while her adult son makes blue and yellow arm bands for the freedom fighters to wear to identify themselves from the enemy.

Men in their 40’s and 50’s are being summoned to fight and gladly going out to defend their country and families, taking their own weapons with them, even though they haven’t served in the armed forces in 10-20 years.

Hundreds of people were hiding in the basement of a theatre in hopes of surviving Russian bombings. Some did. Some didn’t. Even though the word “children” was clearly written on the grounds, the bombs and the soldiers who released them didn’t care.

Bombs also hit a maternity hospital, killing and severely injuring women about to give birth as well as newborn babies, killing the babies who never had a chance to live. Can you imagine being an expectant mother in this environment, not knowing if you and/or your child will survive?

Food distribution centers are being bombed so that a soon to be starving population will have nothing to eat. And they certainly can’t call for takeout or delivery.

These are the realities of war in a 21st century world. In a modern country whose citizens only several months ago were living lives like you and me. Celebrating holidays, engagements, weddings, birthdays, and births of new babies. Going to school. Buying homes. Enjoying nights out for dinner or movies. Going shopping just for fun. Not needing to look up into the sky to see anything but sun and clouds.

But now there is a new reality. Their daily lives have been turned upside down, never to be the same again.

I have no idea what the answers are. None at all. I only know something needs to be done to stop the insanity before the. country of Ukraine is destroyed. And before another country, possibly Poland, is invaded because this Russian dictator wants to control Europe and then the rest of the world.  Where does it stop? When will it stop?

What will be left?

My heart is breaking for these people. All I can do is pray, and I do. Every single day.

May the decisions made in the coming days by our world leaders be good ones, based not only on intelligence but also on the need to save innocent lives, and may these decisions begin a road to peace in this world, and not the beginning of World War Three. Because none of us could recover from that.

May God bless Ukraine. And the rest of the free world.

It’s Not About You

I know as Americans we’re used to having what we want, when we want it. At least a lot of you are.

We have the freedom to speak out about things that bother us; things that we don’t think are fair. You have that right just as I do, and we also have the freedom to disagree with each other.

And most likely, there will be a lot of people who will disagree with what I’ve written here. But that’s ok, too, because that’s your right. If you don’t like what I have to say you don’t have to read it.

What’s bothering me so much? It’s a lot of the viewpoints some of you are voicing about this disaster in Ukraine. Sure, I think most of you are concerned about what’s going on, but I wonder if it’s true concern, or if it’s just another opportunity to complain about gas prices being so high, or how this is all the fault of the Democrats again.

Yes, gas prices are rising. I’m not happy about it either, but in the scheme of things, it’s not nearly as big a deal as what’s happening in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian people have done nothing to deserve what has happened to them; what is continuing to happen to them. I would say the price of gasoline isn’t the biggest problem they have right now.

Staying alive is their biggest problem, I would think. Along with caring for their families and trying to keep them safe. And wondering what will happen tonight while they sleep; what will happen tomorrow and the next day.

We go about our daily lives complaining about minor inconveniences like high gas prices, being asked to wear a mask to protect ourselves and others from a pandemic (“No one has the right to tell me what to do!”) I bet the Ukrainians would be happy to wear face masks if it would stop the invasion and the terror of war.

Think about these things for a few minutes:

There are couples who were planning weddings; joyous celebrations of one of the happiest days of their lives. Now they are just trying to survive, and praying they will live through this to have a chance to marry. Their dreams have been smashed, and their lives turned upside down. They wonder if they will even have a chance to have the life they were dreaming of.

There are pregnant women, ready to welcome a precious new life. Some are having their first child and the excitement has been hard to contain. Now they’re wondering if they’ll even live long enough to have the baby, and if it will survive; if they’ll have access to medical care during that time and what will happen if they don’t. What will happen if they can’t care for that baby, afford food and clothing for it. If they will even have a home to bring it to. And what kind of future it will have.

There are parents trying to figure out how to care for their children; how to explain what is happening to them. They’re afraid to send their kids to school because they don’t know if they’ll be safe, let alone learn anything. They worry about their mental health as well as their physical health.  And they wonder if they should try to flee their country, and if they do, what will happen to them then.

There are the very sick, patients who need daily medicines to survive, patients that may not be able to get those life-saving medications. They wonder how long they have to live and what their death will be like. There are parents with terminally ill children who must be beside themselves trying to figure out what to do to give those children as much quality of life as they can before they lose them.

There are people who go to bed at night in fear, not knowing if their homes will be bombed during the night. How many Ukrainians have already been killed? How many more will be? How many more senseless deaths? We’re talking people who’ve had no say in these unconscionable decisions. Women. Children. The elderly. The sick and disabled. As well as those who are able to fight and are doing so with no training except their sheer will and courage to stand against evil. Would we do that in the face of such invasion or would we simply protest about how unfair it was that we’re being inconvenienced and say it’s our own government’s fault?

There are people who aren’t sure they will even have food and water to get through the next few days or weeks. 1-3 million people are already facing food and supply shortages, and it gets worse every day.

There are people who are trying to leave the only country they’ve ever known, a country they love, and wondering where they will go and how they will survive in a new country where they can’t even speak the language. Over 1.7 million refugees to date are trying to leave and are facing massive lines at train stations and borders. And the number increases daily. Many are women and children torn away from husbands, fathers, and brothers, with no way to contact them and no way to know if they are safe left behind. How long before Russian troops prevent them from leaving altogether? And what effect will the refugee crisis have in the rest of Euripe? Where will these people go, and how will they live?

And where is Putin’s wife and family? Reports tell us she and their children are in a luxurious underground bunker somewhere in Siberia. A bunker with all the comforts, and designed to withstand nuclear war.

And how long before young Ukrainian men are taken by the Russians and forced to fight for them against their countrymen, or else be killed?

Shall I go on?

And we’re complaining about the price of gasoline?

And we’re listening to some people in the news who are praising Putin for his “genius” in this attack, and who are openly saying that other countries will probably do the same. That is unconscionable, and an open invitation to “come get us!”

We have commentators in the news media, as well as some of our elected officials, openly hinting about taking Putin out. That’s an invitation to murder, and will most likely cause the other side to declare the same for us.

We also have some 16,000 retired former members of our United States military who are going over to Ukraine to help the people fight for their freedom. They are NOT being paid or funded by our government, but by private donations. If you don’t believe this, check the news stories on line. They are some of the heroes in this mess.

And we’re complaining about the cost of gasoline? And criticizing our government for not doing anything about it? And by the way. That pipeline? The extension of the existing pipeline which IS working? It was only 8% completed w if it ever was. Read about it for yourselves. When it was finally stopped once and for all, work had been halted on it off and on for over ten years because of environmental concerns. Starting it up again wouldn’t bring an immediate onslaught of more oil because it would still take years to complete, if it ever was. It’s a not a spigot of oil we turn on and off.

What do we do? I don’t have a magic crystal ball to give me that answer, but it seems there are quite a few people out there who do. Those who condemn our own government for not taking care of us in our time of need because gas prices are too high.

Personally, I have no idea what I would do if I were in charge. But I’m glad I’m not, because I don’t want the weight of that on my shoulders. But there are certainly plenty of people out there who are quick to say what should be done; what they would do. It must be nice to be so much smarter than the people who are in charge. And the President is NOT the only one who makes these decisions by himself; he has advisors, and I believe he listens to them. Whether I agree on what we are doing in this mess or not, it is not my place to say whether we’re handling it right or wrong, because I just don’t know.

It is my place to pray for Ukraine and its people. It is my place to continue to pray for an end to all of this. If I could do something for them I would, but I don’t know what it would be.

It is not my place to complain about a few hardships we’re experiencing here, because they are NOTHING compared to what the Ukrainian people are going through.