Today is Beth's birthday. A day for celebration and joy, yet marred this year with an unmitigated natural disaster that tore apart - and continues to do so, days after the first tremor - families and friends.
Amid a sea of well wishes and prayers, there was just one post that stood out above the rest. It wasn't from a family member - at least not biological - and it wasn't from a long lost friend. No, this was a special post that Beth was tagged in and that was so easy to get lost among the dozens of other birthday wishes.
Happy Birthday, Aunt Beth. I posted it elsewhere too, and I said a few kind words about how much good your organization does and how proud I am of you, but my words will never compare to those above...nor should they. There is not one person who can question how much you inspire these kids, these families, to help others and to be incredible humans, incredible global citizens.
To be honest, I don't think you really need another 'happy birthday' today. I've seen your Facebook - you've got plenty. And you might not need these next words, but you certainly deserve them - Thank You. Thank you for doing what so few others do, thank you for being who you are, thank you for not giving up on one single person.
I have no doubt in my mind that there are plenty of others who would say the same thing the man above said - one of her dubbed 'boys,' as she so lovingly refers to them - and that knowledge alone makes me, and every other member of our family, member of our lives, proud.
So thank you. I hope you never stop giving others the courage to do good things. And I know you'll never stop inspiring others to be selfless.
"Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."
Update 3, April 28
9:51 A.M. Beth Brewster: Our boys are making us proud again. Bishal and Raj volunteered at Teaching Hospital in the thankless job of removing corpses from incoming vehicles (I use this term because bodies were coming in trucks, buses, ambulances, anything available) to the morgue. This was very difficult emotional work, because most of the victims were women and children. Also want to thank Rajeev who was seen bringing in a carload of injured.
9:33 A.M. Parus: Small steps makes a big differences-
8:49 P.M. Beth Brewster: Now that I have spent my first night at home (on the kitchen floor near the door) I want to give a huge thanks to the boys at Drive Adventure Tour Services. It was their parking lot that the neighborhood stayed for three nights. They kept us dry and safe for 4 days & 3 nights. But most importantly was how calming and generous they were that first day. Can't thank you enough - literally lifesavers.
Update 2, April 27
1:58 A.M. Beth Brewster: OK after 6.7 after shock. Know 35 kids okay check in go. Rest
11:03 A.M. Beth Brewster: Right now we are all safe, but all our Tinpiple families have been displaced. Poured last night they got soaked under their tarp. Looking for tent(s) for short term. So much damage there, not sure we can find housing in that same area.
11:06 A.M. Beth Brewster: Oh and NTC my telephone network has been down this whole time!
11:20 A.M. Beth Brewster: Brought books to our "parking lot/campsite" to help kids pass time or as they say here " time pass"
3:36 P.M. Beth Brewster: Good News Jurgen arriving from Belgium Tuesday with tents for our Tinpiple families! Temporary solution, but it is a start. Next working on food. As many of our families cannot afford to buy in bulk they can
1) Not stock up on common items i.e. rice & dal
2) Afford the high prices that are sure to come.
We have identified families at risk and have some ideas, hope to start to implement tomorrow.
Update 1, April 26, 6AM
6 A.M. - Beth Brewster: Hi all we are safe and staying in the parking lot down the road. Everyone has been great. They moved cars around to give us shelter from the rain.
Beth Brewster is the Executive Director of Giving Asha.