Japan and afterthoughts…

I watch the news every day and every night and try to keep up with the news in Japan.  I want to see the survivors.  I want to see the families reuniting.  It brings tears to my eyes, but it’s crucial for me to see that moment when they are on camera hugging, because this is a GOOD thing to see on t.v.

photo via CapitalBay.com

photo via CapitalBay

photo via cbc news

photo via The Daily Beast

photo via MansfieldNewsJournal

I need to see that some people were found alive among the many that were found dead.  I need to know some hearts are relieved among those that are grieving.  It’s a simple thing called hope.  And each time I watch the families and the rescuers working hard amid warning after warning of a coming tsunami still, and trembling and shaking of aftershocks…my heart clenches tight.  My mind chants a mantra of prayer.  Someway, somehow, this all has to please be okay again.
I know how it feels to lose someone so suddenly.  You have no warning, no time to comprehend someone is leaving you-the moment just happens and they are gone.  Gone.  I cannot fathom, imagine, comprehend what it would be like to see a wall of water wash away my new home, my dogs and Josh or my friends and family.  I can not think of the stories of holding someone’s hand as their loved ones were ripped form their grasp.  I can only pray when a survivor says he stayed alive because he thought of his family.  
We get tsunami warnings in Hawaii all the time, and it’s ALWAYS after another country has already been devastated by one.  Most times it never hits with enough force to devastate us, except the two events that occurred on the Big Island in 1946 and 1960 where it hit and caused destruction.
But that Thursday night as I was massaging Josh and heard the warning, I admit, I automatically thought the tsunami that would hit us would be a foot tall, but then I saw the news and I froze.  I had never seen anything like it on t.v. except in the “end-of-the-world” films.  It terrified me.  It made my heart start to race and my mind started trying to calculate numbers, trying to translate meters into miles, trying to figure out if we were far enough inland.
Josh did the calculations for me, printed out the evacuation maps, tried to make me stop worrying but I could tell even as he watched the scenes on t.v. he was worried as well.  We were not in the evacuation zone, but if that same tsunami (that big, that wide, that massive) hit Hawaii that night, being 2 miles inland from the shore would have not mattered.  That Japanese tsunami traveled 6 miles inland.  My house, would have been swept away…
We did pack a bag that night, thinking we could go to Kalihi, to my mom’s if they thought the waves would be bigger, but the reports got it just about right.  I thought of what to take…and you can’t take much.  We would take our bags,  some non perishable food (more like snacks), food for my dogs (and one of my dogs is sick so my worry was more than usual) and the dogs.  But I stood in my room thinking but I need so many things, it’s my life…my life is here…nope, Josh said, we take the dogs and run.  He’s right.  Your life is the beating of your heart…that’s your life.  You run with it to safety.
I thought again about the people in Japan.  They had 30 minutes before that wall of water hit.  Thirty minutes.  You take your family and run.
photo via The Guardian

This man found floating on pieces of a roof said he ran when he heard the tsunami warnings but turned back to get something back at the house….

In Hawaii, they started warning us at 9:30pm, the tsunami would hit at 3:07am…they gave us plenty of time to get ready and leave. I thank the Pacific Warning Tsunami Center for being on it, it was their information that made me feel okay about staying at the house.  If I was in the evacuation zone, of course I would have left…but they kept the public up to date on any tsunami readings they could get.

Josh and I talked about when there would be time we may have to flee to higher ground.  Hawaii is in the middle of the Ring of Fire.  We will continuously get tsunami warnings, since the Ring of Fire is absolutely active with earthquakes.  It’s nature, it’s inevitable and we know it.
I will pray for the people of Japan.  I will appreciate what I have today and not worry what tomorrow will bring.  I can not make sense of the disaster that Japan is continuing to suffer (as their earthquakes have not stopped and their nuclear plants are in trouble), but I can understand that this earth is a living, breathing organism not under our control.  Humans can not control Nature, try as we might.  You just have to see that wall of water rushing towards Sendai to know that we have no control whatsoever with all of our machines, technology and tools.  Nature gives us a place to live and thrive, but it needs to live and thrive as well.   There is always a balance and we can only pray that we are not in the path of the destruction.  
We do have some control of how we live our life and who we want to be and what we want to do.  If you haven’t yet, please donate to the RedCross to help the people of Japan.  It could have been us in Hawaii, but it wasn’t, thank you God.  Donate. They need a chance to survive past losing EVERYTHING.  They lost everything and still have to try and survive the weather, the starvation, the radiation threat, the grief…
Please.  Donate.


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