Monday, November 14, 2005

hurt and hope

I've had this picture saved for a couple weeks, since it ran in MSNBC's The Week in Pictures. I haven't posted it because other things have been going on. Well, here it is now.

The caption said, "First-grader Derrius Richardson, right, comforts Magan Franklin on Oct. 3 on the first day of school at Harahan Elementary School in Harahan, Louisiana. Magan was forced to leave her previous school, Chalmette Christian Elementary in St. Bernard's Parrish, because of the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Her home was also flooded. She spent much of her first morning at her new school crying."

This picture affected me on a few levels. I can relate to Magan: she looks like I did at that age, and like a couple of my nieces not long ago. It breaks my heart to think of what she's going through, and how hard it must be for her comprehend everything that's happening when there's a country full of grown-ups who don't understand it. It also breaks my heart that this aching photo shows just one girl going through that pain, when there are hundreds of thousands of other people in similar predicaments.

The other side of the coin is in Derrius. I can relate to her, too. Her friendly face reminded me of when a new kid showed up in my first grade class, and I befriended him as if he'd been there all along. Her eyes seem simultaneously full of hope and compassion -- and she's six years old.

Every time I look at this picture, it brings tears to my eyes. For the hurt of Magan's pain, and for the hope of Derrius's friendship.

Real post time 12:49am

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