Disaster Awakening – Patience, Love, and Gratitude

Northwest  |  April 10, 2019

“When we were trapped in the Camp Fire, we received a phone call from our daughter saying goodbye, saying that she might not be able to escape,” Michelle McNamar said in a trembling voice, as she described the pain they felt on that terrible day.

“Fortunately, our daughter survived!” she said.

When Michelle and other survivors recalled their experiences of the Camp Fire while visiting the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), Tzu Chi volunteers offered a “life-saving blanket” to assist them emotionally. At that moment, they felt extremely moved and were more deeply touched than they were when given the cash card.

“Your compassion, sincerity, and respect for everyone is really amazing!” Michelle said.

Curtis, Michelle’s husband, explains that everyone is very vulnerable at this time. Everyone needs support and must unite with others. “Our children, parents, and grandchildren are 21 people in total. All three houses are gone. Maybe it’s time to consider building a big house in the future. We can live together!” After hearing her husband say that, Michelle just laughed.

After experiencing the traumatic disaster, Michelle hopes to turn a new leaf in her life. “I want to be the person with more patience, love, and gratitude,” Michelle said. “I also hope that I can help others more in the future.”

Volunteers suggested that the McNamars start with the compassionate spirit of the bamboo coin bank. The volunteers explained of its educational value for future generations in their family, as it can help their grandchildren develop good thoughts and feel the power of accumulated achievements.

Curtis, who had previously heard of the bamboo bank, was touched again to tears while hearing these words. At that time, he asked for another bamboo coin bank for his grandson.

Michelle and Curtis are glad to have a temporary place to stay for now. In the future, they’ll be ready with expectations of better things to come.

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