Heather Arundel

The Diva of Darkness

Salton Sea Sunset Photo by Ron Niebrugge

Salton Sea Sunset Photo by Ron Niebrugge
The Beauty of Hell...

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - also known as my personal life motto!

All Human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Who I am...

I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a survivor.
My family has made me who I am...my past family with past hurts...my current family with current joy.
Family is something you are born into and cannot choose,
family is also what you choose it to be once you are old enough to start anew...


Friday, January 27, 2012

Freak Out Fridays - Whatever Happened to Caring for One's Fellow Man?

I was reared by my Depression Era-surviving, WWII-fighting, grandparents.  They believed strongly in FDR and "the New Deal", and the world they lived in was one where the "have's" were obligated by our government to help out the "have-not's".  If they were alive today (and still cognitively able to understand our current political climate) they would be utterly disgusted by what is being spewed by some of the GOP.  I say "some" only because I like to believe that the entire Republican party isn't completely off their rocker.

With what I have been seeing lately, reading everywhere, and hearing the GOP candidates say; it got me thinking.  Thinking about a situation that came up during my life, that essentially showed the kind of people our nation's "Greatest Generation" were.  I'd like to share this with you.

When I was 16 years old I went away on a mission trip to Tamalipas, Mexico.  At that time, it was a tiny village with no running water; the "richest" person had the old fashioned washer that you cranked the clothes through.  We were told we would be building a church/community center/shelter/all purpose building with a concrete slab foundation, and running water.  The villagers were so happy to see us, they desperately needed this gift and were more than happy to sing our songs and play soccer with us; to get it.

The town had a real issue going on, a dirty little secret.  Men would drink, and in their drunken state; break into their neighbors homes and rape their teenage daughters.  Sometimes, the poor girls got pregnant.  Being predominately Catholic, there were never going to be any abortions; so the girls had the babies "secretly" and as soon as possible; turned the kids out of the home.  The mothers would then deny their existence.  So when we got there, we found ourselves compelled to deal with the eight children that were currently living in this situation.  No food, only scraps from various trash cans; clothes only when Missionaries showed up and no roof over their heads, ever.

One of these sweet children was named Aurora.  I fell in love with her instantly.  She was so starved for love, and I think she knew that I was too.  We clicked and within days, she was calling me Mama.  I called home to talk to my grandma. 

This is where I'll take a break and preface the rest of the story with this: my grandparents were no saints, I did not have a very happy childhood; but they believed in taking care of people - even if their own background made them a little mentally fucked up.

When I explained the situation to Nana, her only response was; "What can I do to help?"  So I handed the phone to our lead contact on the Mexico side and he walked her through what she needed to do, who she needed to talk to, and who she needed to bribe; for me to be able to bring Aurora home and have her legally be ours.

She didn't hesitate, she didn't say "I'll have to think about it." There was no asking, "What will this cost us?" or "What's in it for me?"  She just knew that I was telling her that this little girl needed a home, and she was willing to find a way to make it happen; because you take care of those less fortunate.  Always.  No matter what.

We were not well-to-do, we struggled and my grandma worked hard to provide for me.  I shopped at thrift stores and never knew what it was like to own a new pair of shoes until a youth pastor bought me my first pair when I was 13 years old; but she was willing to take in another mouth to feed because that mouth needed a home and that is what you do.

We ended up not getting Aurora, it broke my heart when the border crossing guards wanted more money and we didn't have it to give.  They ripped that beautiful little girl from my arms, she and I were both screaming, and she disappeared shortly after.  I don't know what happened to her, it breaks my heart to this day; but we tried. 

I guess my Freak Out is this...when did American's stop trying to help one another?  When did it become "okay" to just look out for numero uno?  Why is it that helping our fellows is looked down upon?  When did "liberal" become a dirty word?

Okay, I'm done with my rant.


  1. And a wonderful rant it is. This is a great post and I really enjoyed reading it. I'll be thinking about it for the rest of the day.

  2. I think sometime in the 90's is when the 'me' thing cropped up. Really sorry you couldn't bring Aurora home with you.

  3. Excellent post, terribly sad story. I wonder if you could ever find out what happened to Aurora? Maybe it helped her to know that someone WANTED to help?

    There are still people who want to help others. I'm one of them. The world seems selfish because the selfish people have the microphone and the helpers are quiet. Keep on helping, and keep on calling on others to help. That way, at least the world will be one helper better off.

    On a completely unrelated and, frankly, horribly-segued-note, I'm having a blogfest: check it out:


    It's for a good cause: to make Grumpy Bulldog be social.

  4. I think people have always been selfish. What has made it worse is narcissism which is on the rise in our country brought on by the power of social media and the pervasive feeling by the youth that they are entitled to fame.

  5. Such a sad story. I was raised to always look out for others too. I married an American and moved just above the Bible belt. I am looked down upon for wanted to help others here. I don't understand it at all. I'll raise my son to be compassionate and hope he doesn't inherit that "me" state of mind.

  6. It's not just Americans, believe me.

  7. What a sad story. I don't think everyone is selfish. If you tap into the right vein, you'll find the helpers. They're just a bit more hidden...

  8. This is an amazing, heartbreaking story. Even if you were not able to take her home, she will always know that someone wanted her. I think this is an important message that you should not underestimate, and it's quite possible that without you she might never have received this message.

    I'm with you. Certain politicians are dressing up selfishness and classicism in fancy words.