Hurricane Irene made her stomp on the east coast. And she was pissed off.  There are many people in the Hudson Valley whose lives have been lost under water. Memories, homes, roads and other  materialistic things have been washed away in many of my neighboring communities. Thankfully, where I live went unscathed, with power outages and road closures being the worst of it. Most of Ulster County has been declared a state of emergency and hopefully this will allow much-needed aid and support to come to the area.

In addition to the hurricane and her wrath,  I have been moved to tears over three different stories. Amazing stories about three human beings. I do not know any of these people personally, but through the channels of social media and the internet I have been introduced to them, their worlds and their footprints left on this earth.

One of my most favorite musicians, Micahel Franti, introduced his fans to Tika Hick. They met at a concert and Tika shared her story.  She and her husband David had become parents to a beautiful baby boy named Indigo, lost their home to foreclosure, and Tika was diagnosed with breast cancer all within a month. Tika and her husband took a trip to Hawaii before she was scheduled for double mastectomy surgery in July. Her husband David was swept from a rock by a rogue wave and drowned in the ocean off Maui. Michael Franti started a fund to help Tika and wished her a very happy birthday, with promises of keeping his fans updated on Tika and Indigo’s new life.

Matt over at Matt’s Bites posted “Bloggers With Out Borders and Helping Jennie.” He told the story of Jennifer Perillo of In Jennie’s Kitchen. Her husband, Mikey, suddenly passed away few weeks ago from a heart attack. Suddenly. With out notice. Jennie and her two girls are without a husband and a father. Jennie’s last few post have been how to make the simple things in her kitchen,  straying from her more elaborate recipes and making beans and pancakes. I wish I could make Jennie pancakes. She even encouraged everyone to make their loved ones peanut butter pie, her husband’s favorite. Blogger’s Without Borders is doing what they can to help Jennie and her girls. Their organization banded  together with the internet world to help fellow bloggers, talk about a change in the times.

I learned about Tim LaFollette from one of frequent reads over at Ryan Marshall’s Pacing the Panic Room. Ryan told Tim’s story as he heard it from another blogger over at the The Shallow Brigade. Tim  passed away earlier this month after a serious battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Tim and his wife, Kaylan, are surrounded by an army of people called Often Awesome. This informal group of people keeps the life of Tim alive through is incredible story, fundraising and events. This is the trailer for a 33 part web series that was made to help spread the word and awareness about ALS. The clips are amazing. Take the time to watch Tim’s story. It makes you feel.

It doesn’t matter where I live, the city or the country. I will ALWAYS empathize and see the good in people. I will always try to help those in need. And I will continue to share my story and hopefully, with grace, help spread the stories of others. I believe you can influence through sharing – a story, a picture, a song. In fact, that’s why I have found some of my best work has been through online channels of communication. Please take the time to visit the pages and stories of these amazing people. May the ones who have passed rest in peace. And may we all have an [internet] army sharing our stories when our day arrives.

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eye for an instant?” ~  Henry David Thoreau