As the numbers continue to rise, there are moving stories of heroism as well. Two siblings 7 and 9 pulled their 7 month old sister out of the rubble and walked towards the nearest town for help because everyone in their town was dead. After walking on foot for hours they convinced some authorities to come back to rescue their sister in the rubble. Sunday, eight days after the earthquake, the authorties pulled out their sister, alive.
When the Tsunami hit… one of my colleagues was in Thailand scuba diving. He said he felt some sudden pressure but nothing more. When him and his group came to the surface the boat was gone. Miles out, they had no idea which way was shore. So they swam and swam until they reached an island. Out of 20 people they began with only 6 made it to the island. To hear about the before and after from someone who was there, made me see everything differently.
With this earthquake.. the tears remain so close to the surface.. I’ve been watching the news, the links, the videos… I got this way after 9/11, the Tsunami… I don’t know why…. but I think the problem is the images. One of my friends once said that when you’re driving and you see an accident, avert your eyes because you may see something that will scar into your head for the rest of your life. I think that’s what’s happened. I can’t get the images out of my head. Anytime I have some quiet time to think, they come to me and I see them and I can feel their pain… I’ve been in Michigan, I’ve felt the cold… but not as I tried to sleep through the night… I’ve lost my home in a hurricane… but I didn’t have to live in a tent for months or years … and wonder if starvation would kill me…. I have a husband, brothers, parents.. the thought of losing any I feel like I’d die myself, but there are people who’ve lost everyone…. not just family, but entire generations…
The hardest part is there will be no closure. Tragedy is tragedy. No way to look reflectively and make “peace” and move on. Maybe I will carry this sadness for years to come, maybe all my life… But you have to handle pain productively… The important thing is to donate, ask others to donate, write about them occasionally to make sure they stay remembered, and to make my life meaningful for the sake of the people who will never have the chance.
I will write about other things, and think of other things, but they will always be with me in my heart and my thoughts, and always a part of my prayers. I will not forget them and to the extent that I can, I will do my part.