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  • Tom McCann

"Reflecting on the Day" Tom McCann, Nantucket Cares Team Leader

So it’s now almost midnight and we are still on the road to Warsaw. Very long emotionally draining day. As I reflect on today, I’m struggling with the fact that our team of eight people are experiencing things today which are impossible to put into words. I can tell you how beautiful, resilient, loving, strong, and so many other wonderful adjectives, describe the 200 plus women and children we met today. I can only try to capture words that express the reality of this absolutely horrific situation our world is in right now. Words to help you all back home understand, while you sleep safely with your family in your home.

I’ve said many times I set out on this mission because I couldn't watch the traumatization of an entire generation of women and children beyond your wildest imagination. I set out with this amazing and compassionate Nantucket Cares team to try our best to make a difference. But how do any of us possibly explain to our friends, families and supporters what we are truly experiencing in real time? I turned to several members of our team today and said, “It's inconceivable we met a young boy and his mother who's 25 year old dad and husband was just killed in Ukraine, while our loved ones across the globe, are thankfully, safe and sound."

It’s such an unfair world we live in. Why is 3 year old little Inan living in a refugee center while a tyrannical maniac destroyed her home and entire city? My 3 year old granddaughter will be able to eat well tonight, take a bath and be read a bedtime story by BOTH her mother and father!! Yet this beautiful baby will have the most opposite experience imaginable? Why? I keep asking myself why could this happen in 2022? Why would the world let this happen?

A grandmother in her 80’s today squeezed my hands with tears in her eyes while she pointed at her 15 year old granddaughter and told me with anger and fear in her voice, “What they (Putin and his army) are doing to young girls, my granddaughter's age, is horrific!” Although she spoke in Ukrainian, and myself in English, I knew what she was saying or feeling.

Watching this horror on American television is far from how bad this situation really is. On a TV segment you can’t feel the pain, anger, fright, and so many more emotions that all of us felt first hand the last two days. I know the members of the Nantucket Cares team, like myself, are more dedicated than ever before (more than even they could imagine when they signed on to this journey). We will try to fall asleep tonight as best we can so we are reenergized in the morning to repeat the same emotional journey we visited today. It’s not easy to do, and I beg myself to fall asleep, while I see the photos of the most beautiful children (in every way) I held and hugged today. We will persevere and be a piece of the giant jigsaw puzzle, representing YOU, bringing hope and happiness to the people we meet.

Please understand from the bottom of my heart how thankful we all are, that all of you, have supported the Nantucket Cares mission. You are with us on this journey. You will be the reason this little group of old and new friends from Nantucket was able to bring as much love and hope as we could, to help these people in desperate need right now. Thanks for your love, good wishes each day as you follow our journey and prayers for the people of both Poland and Ukraine.

April 5, 2022

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