On April 14, the State Department notified us that we can now return to our home in Japan. My travel arrangements have been made, and I'll be sleeping in my bed again soon.
My homecoming will be bitter sweet, though. I'll be returning to a different Japan. It's still the same place I love, but things are different now. People are trying to move on and daily life is normal, but I think the people have changed. I think we have all changed!
On March 11th at 2:45 PM, everything was perfect. My life was happy, busy and without worry. Then, things changed. I endured an earthquake that lasted about 2 minutes--Japan's largest earthquake to date. I spent 2 horrifying minutes hiding under my dining room table with Jude, trying to protect him, listening to the walls around us rattle and shake, watching our large glass patio door flex, trembling as things were falling, hearing our kitchen drawers open and close as our building swayed, not knowing if we would survive. Then, we escaped, running down 5 floors-- in a panic, with my heart racing.
Those 2 frightful minutes changed me, as they have changed so many others. Now, I'm so incredibly thankful for everything--great or small. I got a reminder on March 11th of just how precious life is, and how in an instant, it can all be taken away.
So, today I'm so happy I have a place to come home to, because I know so many others don't.