14 March 2011

waiting, relief, and helplessness

Unless you’ve been on Mars, by now you know about the massive earthquake and resulting tsunami that occurred off the coast of northern Japan on March 11.  If not, catch up here.  Since news travels at the speed of the internet these days I found out about it shortly after it occurred, but did not realize the magnitude of it all until the next morning.

Immediately my thoughts went to any friends and family that could be affected, either by the earthquake itself in Japan, or any possible targets of the tsunami at that point making its way across the globe.  Particularly on my mind was a dear friend of mine – a groomsman at my wedding, godfather to my son, and as much a brother as someone could be without actually being related to me.  Where was he?  Where is he now?  How am I going to get in contact with him?

Hours later I’d find out.  He’d been in contact with his cousin in Cali, who was able to relay a status to me. 

It’s funny in a way.  Years ago if a tragedy like this happened you would call around.  Maybe you’d be able to connect and maybe you wouldn’t.  But basically you waited for that phone to ring.  Sometimes you’d wait days.  Today a 12 hour wait followed by a Facebook status seems like an eternity.  You throw names into a People Finder hoping for something – anything to let you know they’re safe. 

But now what?  On Saturday we fed the kids breakfast and talked about what we need to get from Costco while my friend was at an evacuation center looking for water.   I know what he’d say.  “Gene, don’t worry about me.  Handle your business.  I’ll catch up with you when this all blows over.”

I wish I could.  All the crap I’ve been stressing about lately doesn’t seem so tough right now.  Work, money, still on my mind but put in perspective.  I’ve been hugging my kids tighter today.  Your godson isn’t old enough yet to understand why I keep praying for you and why my mind’s been wandering, but one day we can tall talk about it together, ok?

I know you won’t be reading this until later.  Maybe weeks from now.  Be safe.  God bless.

Google Crisis Response website for the 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami.

Please donate to the Red Cross.  Every little bit can help. 

[ABC 7 Chicago: Japanese-Americans pray for quake, tsunami victims]
[Wikipedia:  2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami]

No comments:

Post a Comment