For those of us enslaved by our guinea pigs, dedicated to spoiling them at every opportunity, Marsha Weaver and The Cozy Cavy down in Alabama is a go-to source for comfortable indulgences. Devoted to her own guinea pigs, Marsha has always been very supportive of rescues throughout the years...including ours. Just this past Monday, she'd announced a customer appreciation sale to thank folks for helping her build a beloved and well-respected small business.
And now she needs our support, thoughts, and prayers.
The Cozy Cavy's Facebook page this morning (Thursday) is reporting that Marsha's home was wiped out by one of the many tornadoes that have been stampeding across Alabama. Marsha, her husband, her kids, and their dog are safe, but her daughter was badly injured (and is in the hospital) and the family dog was injured on one side of his face (and may lose his eye).
The family has lost their home, their car, and most likely their piggies (their "little kids"). Quoting Marsha's sister's post on Facebook: "I am really not sure about the "little kids". I am praying that perhaps they made it, but honestly I don't think they could have. From what I can tell...the house is gone and only the cement slab remains."
This is every family's nightmare. It is every pet owner's nightmare. It is every business owner's nightmare. One day you're happy in the company of loved ones and beloved pets, living in a good home, and celebrating success. A day or two later, everything is gone in minutes.
Folks, this is my personal appeal for a woman I am fond of and grateful to. If there's a prayer group in your church or your temple, pray for the Weavers and all the other victims in the South and the Midwest. If you have some money to spare, donate it to the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, or whatever other aid organization is working down there that you want to support. (You can also donate to a campaign started for Marsha over at Sponsor A Guinea Pig.) If you live down there and your life and belongings and companions are all still where they're supposed to be, volunteer to help with the cleanup and the rebuilding; to bring warm food, clean clothes, and even hugs; or to offer temporary shelter if you have it to give.
For whatever reason, Mother Nature is on the warpath. She's doing a helluva of job of "housecleaning," and seems okay with tearing apart lives in the process. Houses and lives will eventually get rebuilt, but I'm hoping that something even bigger and more transformative will happen in the process: that we'll get back to basics, to the things we learned in kindergarten, in Sunday school, at our parents' knees. That obsessive attachments to computers, cell phones, texting, emailing, social networking, and all the rest of the technology-driven stuff give way to the face-to-face relationships. That we get back to "Love thy neighbor" the old-fashioned way. Techology is useful, even in times like these, but it will never be a substitute for the human touch -- and right now, that's what is needed the most.
For all of us whose lives are still intact, may we take the time today...and each day going forward...to express love to our human and animal companions, to be grateful for what we have, and to be supportive when we're needed.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for offering whatever help you can.