For days after she quietly was able to rest in peace, I heard her cry. It echoed through the house and yard.
Now a week later, I still heard her.
I rarely cry, but my face is wet again. Loss. Whatever loss you have experienced is your own. We feel these personal losses in ways we may never express publicly. Life lost.
One of my former students remarked that she was only now recovering from the deep grief of losing both parents. It seemed to strike a chord with me, I miss my parents but I am over grieving, though I don't remember when grieving stopped and the pure emptiness of proceeding on with my life as a full-fledged orphan was acknowledged. Reflecting now on that and I haven't yet found a word for the dog-less person I have now become.
Monday was the last day to submit commits to EPA on OU5 HHRA, the local tribes and LEAD Agency officially submitted ours and we were so pleased that others submitted theirs as well. Thank you all.
LEAD stands for Local Environmental Action Demanded and since Action is one of our middle names, want some of that action? Like to read? Garden? Dig in the dirt? Take samples? Conduct a survey? Cause some good trouble? Make Action happen to benefit our community?
LEAD Agency will be receiving access to a scientist sometime next month though the Thriving Earth Exchange. We have plans for that person to help us do citizen science. Fall seems like the right time to launch our signups. Want to be a citizen scientist? Give us a call at 918-542-9399 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and let's decide on our questions and take them on. The issues we face are real.
We wanted a map that you will be able to easily use that will tell you how high the water will be in your house when the next big flood happens AFTER the lake level rise has been approved. We want to know how the Inhofe Amendment got put into the NDAA. How does power work? Who else benefits?
Let's fight this.
Action. That is what it will take. Action can be as little effort as making a phone call or signing a statement. Many of you have done this. We Won't Take it Anymore.
That is bold and I am proud of everyone of you who signed these. Want a sign for your car window? want a button to wear? A banner for your yard? How about one across the highway? We won't take it anymore.
Starting to sound like action. Boy Howdy, there is no stopping you now. We will be protected by your action. Don't fuss, don't mutter, don't sit silently and wonder what you will save when the water is rising too fast to take it all.
Action. That is what we have to do now.
Action has taken me past the tears on my face, and the lonely sad cries of my dog. This one is for my friends, my former colleagues and all of their families. Action. We have to do something. Bold.
We speak up now. We make the maps. We speak out, we get yard samples now before the contaminated flood water comes across your property for the first time. We will be able to prove how much was deposited every time the water lays down and waits to recede.
We need the BEFORE samples to prove you have been damaged in yet a deeper way, with toxic metals from Tar Creek every time, more is deposited. We will use our Citizen Science hats and prove we have been damaged.
We have smart passionate people in this community and our surroundings who deserve answers and action.
Let's formulate the questions you have and figure out how we collect the data that will lead to the answers and use it to change, fix or otherwise bring solutions.
There could not be a better time to organize, educate and get set to make our lives better.
LEAD needs Lay Health Advisors who have been or will become our community lead poisoning prevention leaders. LEAD needs people who have small water crafts or live on or have easy access to every foot of the water's edge that touch us to survey our waters and be ready and trained to collect soil, water and fish samples.
LEAD has a history of citizen science, having worked on participatory research with universities with researchers who published journal articles for the wider good.
What pushes me forward?
The pain I have seen in the eyes of people who have experienced a flood, the struggle learning can be, the pain of serious health impacts. Kidney damaged lives, lives shortened. Death and dying push me. Pain and the cry of a lonely sick dog reminded me to widen our team with others who are tired of hearing hurt.
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim