Friday, July 13, 2012

In the Mire & Remembrance

Baby Tern on a barrier island in Barataria Bay, one of the areas hit hardest with BP oil on 2010. This chick and most of the others were swept away with high waters from Debbie.

(Image credit: Julie Dermansky, used with permission)

It's been a while, hasn't it? Things are better and appalling and not forgotten.  Yesterday, I actually thought of that baby tern as a metaphor. Today, I'm in a better and clearer frame of mind. 

Since my last post, I've filed a shelter petition for the young woman I call Lillie (don't even get me started on the legal end of this and what I have to say about child welfare.) I've seen the young man I was worried about land pretty much on his feet, and inch ever closer to aging out. I've seen KeyoncĂ© disappear yet again, into the murky world in which he fails to thrive but doesn't struggle enough in to leave or to die in. Snow White is going to use my car for her operator's driver's license exam and we can have positive conversations again. Marina and Serena are fine in their group homes and in fact, they appear to be thriving. My other two GAL youth, Tammy and Shammy, are doing okay. My "not really my case officially" GAL youth is doing better, though I'm still worried about her living circumstance. Overall the trend is up. But, then again, less than a week ago, I've seen things like this (below) coming back into the home of my brand shiny new GAL youth, whose case I just got on because she is diabetic and this is what her prospective adopter is sending her home  with (late for her medication, no less) from visits: 

(That yellow bag? Cheetos-type fries, mostly gone. The cup? Milkshake. The 24 oz. soda? A FRAKKING 24 ounce soda. The doughnut, the sugary Bubblicious gum, the buttered popcorn. Quantum field help me, what is she eating all afternoon, if this is what worked its way home?)

And yet, in spite of all these many things, what motivated me to write a post is Julie's ongoing, powerful series on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf. Julie is my kind of person. I think I must operate on the same frequency. She isn't letting it go. She won't let us forget. Why? We shouldn't forget. The animals, the people, the everything about what BP did there with the Deepwater Horizon. Everyone and everything along the affected Gulf Coast will be seeing the effects for decades. We must not forget their struggle. 

Please join me in commending Julie's work at the Atlantic. Like it, share it (yes, it's hard to like, but it's important to do so for social media connections and you help her get the recognition to keep on taking these pictures). Spread the word. Stick it to BP. Show them, and the entire industry, that the American attention span isn't quite as short as they hoped...

We will not forget Barataria Bay, its birds, its marine life. Or any place, affected by the DH spill.

Julie- Thank you.

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