I remember vividly the times of worry for my life when I was a child. The first was an obsession with tornadoes that I developed after a late night chat with my older brother. In true older brother form, he told me of the horrors of how the wind gets angry, swirls in a crazy mess and picks people and homes up and carries them away. I was very young and I'll never forget the weeks of worry afterwards.
The second instance was when there was a war somewhere in the world - and I don't pride myself very well on history and geography - I can't even tell you where it was. I do know this was in the very early 80's and the news featured horrific images of this war every night. I was young. I remember the adults talking about it constantly. I'll never forget how often they talked of whether this was going to turn into WW3. Perhaps they let me see too much and hear too much without realising how it was affecting me.
On Tuesday there was a horrific earthquake here in New Zealand. I am a lot further north than the affected area, so my family and I are safe. It's the first time since I was young though, that I have woken in the night worrying about our little country. I mean really worrying. The death toll is huge. The city has been devastated, and I hate this. It has me in tears, but I worry more about the people that are not in the bright lights of the news and media coverage. (See photos of the aftermath here - be aware that some images are graphic). The people that are sleeping in tents and cars because they are afraid to sleep in their homes. The thousands of people that don't have homes. The families without power, water, means of communication. The people that should be working but their jobs have disappeared, or they can't get to the them. The elderly that can't get to the doctor or pharmacy for their prescriptions. The children that cling to their parents with every aftershock. The parents that have to leave their children with other people so that they can go to work, just to try and pay bills, despite not wanting to be far from loved ones. The children that have been heartborken by missing pets... the list goes on and on.
I guess I felt I needed to address this today. It's day 4 and reality is setting in for everyone. I am watching footage on the TV of everyone pulling together in amazing ways to get help to people and get the city essential services to the people that need them. I'm doing what I can from here. I've donated to the SPCA for the displaced pets. I've donated money in other ways. I'm supporting an auction being held online via Louise Williams on facebook. It never feels like enough though does it. I feel like the money sent won't express to Christchurch how much we truly send our support. At a time where I have never been so proud to be a New Zealander, we need Christchurch to know that the whole country is with you. You are not alone. Thanks everyone for your emails and messages asking if my family is safe. Yes. Yes we are. My heart breaks for my little country though. Keep us in your prayers.