Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Finding the Lost

After a morning dealing with the insurance adjuster on our hail-hammered roof issues, I wasn't feeling my usual cheerful (yet always cynical) self when I plucked this week's People magazine out of the mail box.  Normally, the stories of bad behavior getting rewarded with larges amount of cash, fame and adoration by the masses keeps me momentarily entertained yet digusted: hence just one of the reasons my blog is called "The ART of being Conflicted". 

I was flipping through the magazine today and came across a pretty interesting story called What They Lost.

The story is about Patty Bullion of Lester, Alabama who has undertaken the task of searching for treasures that have been ripped across the south by tornadoes.  Not the kind of treasures such as those things that might garner her some cash but personal mementos that people have lost in the recent storms.

It started when Patty found a picture of a pregnant woman's  ultrasound flipped over on the ground.  Patty  who was adopted as a two year old and has no pictures of herself as an infant was determined to find the person that lost that picture.

 She started searching along roadsides, in fields and beneath trees looking for keepsakes that had been displaced by the storm and trying to find the families that had lost them.  Since starting the hunt she has posted  around 3,700 images on Facebook page under the name of Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes.  Her hope is  that people will recognize the faces in the pictures and get them to their owners.

 I think this is such a lovely idea and such an act of generosity on Patty's part.  Don't all of you??

I have never been in the position of losing all my keepsakes or belongings  but I do have some first hand experience to how devastating it can be.

My dad's home was hit by a tornado a number of years ago in north central Illinois.  I was a newlywed at the time so I no longer lived  at home.  My dad thought he heard something similar to a freight train, which seemed odd.  As his home sat on a large farm surrounded by corn fields, it didn't make sense that a train would be coming through.  Sooo..he got up from his chair, walked to the door and as he opened it,  SHHHHOOOOOSSSSHHHHH....the only thing that remained was the door frame.  That quick.  The house exploded and left him standing in the door frame.

 I, also, remember how touched he was when people came by with bits and pieces of his belongings that were retrieved from yards and fields.

 Don't we all have the conversation some times about what we would try to save if we had the time to get out of the house?   Would it be important papers or would it be keepsakes, or jewelry?  What is the thing you would grab if given a little bit of time? 

Let's assume that all the people are safe and we are talking about things.  Several times I have sat in  in basements as the sirens sounded out their warning for an impending tornado.  I never think about grabbing anything other than my children and later in life my pets.  (again, hubby doesn't require me grabbing him, so he is accounted for) 

When not in the moment of a crisis, I always tell myself that I will grab the important document file and the computer external hard drive that would have all of our tax, bookkeeping and company files backed up on it.  Of course, those few times I actually made my way to a safe room, I was only thinking about the people that I care about. Those so-called important papers or documentation never entered my mind.

Back on track to the subject of  my inspiration for today's post. The thing that struck my about Patty's generous spirit is that she has picked up 3700ish pieces of pictures and papers that belong to people that didn't have time or presence of mind to save them. She has taken the time and caring attention to post them on a Facebook page so maybe someone will recognize who they belong to.  She is doing this out of the goodness of her heart.

 I just love the capacity for kindness in some people.  I will say that even my cynical, conflicted self can only find good in this act of kindness.  What a nice person to try to help those in a dire situation by trying to help them retrieve their personal effects. 

What are some of the things you would try to grab if given some time?  Have you had any situations similar to losing or finding lost belongings?

The Good for the Day...People with generous, loving spirits

The Bad for the Day.... That people lose so much at the hands of Mother Nature

The Weird for the Day....


meleah rebeccah said...

"Several times I have sat in  in basements as the sirens sounded out their warning for an impending tornado"

I cannot even begin to imagine how terrifying that must be.


Wow. Patty is awesome. It's people like her that restore my faith in humanity.

Cperz said...

hi Meleah Rebeccah, I think that usually, I have it in the back of my mind that warnings are just that, warnings and it won't really happen. Of course it can and I guess we all just have to deal with whatever hand we are dealt if it came to pass.

I agree, people like Patty restore my faith in humanity as well.

Thanks for letting me know my message came through. It posted as guest though. (guess you figured that out) I have had nothing but problems with Disqus and have sent 2 emails to them for help. No answer yet. I can't get my comments to post correctly on any site using Disqus now. CRAP

Annie (Lady M) x said...

Blimey, what an interesting post! I can't believe that woman Patty collecting all the photographs and memorabilia. It would be interesting to know how many people she reunited it with. We don't really get any extreme weather here. It is just mainly dull and cloudy.

Cheryl P. said...

OMG, Anne, your comments has reappeared!!! I am making headway

junebug1990 said...

I think what Patty is doing is wonderful. Being from KS I have been through several tornadoes. I once found someone's dental x-rays in my yard after a tornado went over my house. It is great to have some place for people to try to claim what is lost.