Yesterday (Sunday) I learned from my friend Patricia Butler who lives in Puerto Rico but grew up in Haiti, that her niece, Mireille Dittmer, had been found alive in the ruins of a Haitian Supermarket. She had been trapped in a kneeling position between two walls for five and a half days. She was dazed and had some injuries to her legs but seemed otherwise okay after that incredible ordeal. If you type her name into a news search you can see a video of her sons in South Florida talking about their mother's miraculous escape. As the news from Haiti grows increasingly grim, it's inspiring to hear about the occasional miracle like this one.
The local papers here in Florida list all the places you can wire money and help and warn to beware of scammers and use only organizations you've dealt with in the past. I'm going to use projecthope.org.
Here's the news story about the rescue of Mireille:
For five days and 12 hours, Michael and Ricky Dittmer had been waiting for word from their mother in Haiti.
"Just five days and 12 hours. I couldn't sleep. We couldn't eat. It was a horrific experience. Definitely, the worst five days of my life," Ricky Dittmer told CBS4's David Sutta.
The family in Haiti found her car parked in front of the Caribbean Supermarket – all five floors collapsed in the earthquake and there were reports that indicated that more than 60 people were inside. There were no doubts their mother -- Mireille Dittmer -- was one of them.
"It just horrified me to think about it," Ricky Dittmer said.
Sunday morning, however, brought news reports that brought hope. On CNN, they saw a picture of her dazed, but alive.
"After all this time to be in there and still be alive and well is a miracle, definitely," Dittmer said.
Mireille's miracle gets even more incredible. The rescuer drilling his way through concrete walls and floors was a firefighter from Pembroke Pines and her neighbor.
"I heard she's on her way," said Michael Dittmer.
South Florida firefighters put Mireille on a flight home Sunday afternoon. Her son immediately turning to Facebook, the social networking site, to express his joy.
"I'm just going to tell her how much I love her. How much I've missed her. I can't wait to see her. I really can't wait," Michael Dittmer said. "Just keep the hope. Don't give up. To the firefighters don't give up either."
Ricky Dittmer said he hopes his story will give hope to other families in waiting.
"I just want this to be an inspiration to those who are waiting, those who have friends and family who they haven't heard from because it can happen," Dittmer said. "Miracles do happen and they are working around the clock. They are doing the best they can."
After 40 years as a journalist, I turned 60 and decided to return to my first love--painting. I’ve exhibited watercolors and photographs in Massachusetts and have a slide show of paintings below. My photo book “The Secret Life of Greek Cats” can be purchased by clicking on the cover below.
I collect way too many things, but my great passion is antique photographs, from the earliest—daguerreotypes (circa 1840) up to 1900 (cabinet cards, tintypes.) I approach each one as a mystery to solve, and in unlocking their secrets have met some fascinating historic figures. For some of the stories, check the list of “The Story Behind the Photograph”.
My husband Nick and I live in Grafton, MA and recently celebrated our 41st anniversary. We have 3 children, now amazing adults. And on Aug. 26, 2011, we greeted our first grandchild, Amalía-- world’s cutest baby. But this blog isn’t about grandparenting (although photos of the grandkid sneak in). As it says up top, it’s about travel, art, photography and life after sixty. And crone power.