Wow, I can't believe it's been a year since Japan experienced one of the world's worst natural disasters. The time has flown by, but for me, 3/11/11 seems like yesterday.
Today will be a somber day with sirens blaring at 2:46 PM. The sirens are expected to last for several minutes, and during that time we will take a few minutes to pray for all of those who died, suffered and are still suffering because of the earthquake and tsunami.
There are certain days in your life that you will never forget, like September 11th. For me, March 11th is one of those days. No matter how hard I try to forget the fear, anxiousness, and sadness that grabbed hold of me on that day, I cannot.
The events of March 11th were unimaginable, and I was here to witness them firsthand. On that day, I experience the worst moment of my entire life. It happened when Jude and I were hiding under our dining room table, watching as things were shaking and falling, listening to the horrible sound of our apartment building contort and flex, being jerked around by the force of the earthquake. Jude was crying hysterically and asked me, "Mommy, are we going to die?" At that moment, I didn't know the answer to his question. I had no idea what was going to happen. At that moment, my heart sunk. A 6 year old child should never, ever have to utter those words. Never! And to hear MY sweet, helpless baby ask me if we were going to die, shot a jolt through me. I decided we weren't going to stay in our building to see what was going to happen. I decided we were going take our chances and run out. We were going to be active participants in whatever was going to happen next. We weren't going to sit there under the table and wait. No! We were going to run and get out. And that's just what we did.
Once we were out and safe, nothing else mattered. I was safe and my baby was safe. I spent the rest of that miserable day outside, too scared to go back inside, wanting to protect my baby boy from all that could harm him. I refused to spend the night in my apartment building. I was too scared to go back, so we spent the next several nights at a friend's house, where I felt safer.
Ten days later, under Husband's order, Jude and I evacuated back to the States-- not knowing if or when we would be able to return or see Husband again.
March 11th and the month that followed sucked! The uncertainty of the situation was the worst part.
However, I know March 11th sucked a lot worse for my Japanese students, friends and co-workers. Yet, they handled it with honor, patience, pride and resiliency. I saw the sorrow in their eyes, and today, it still lingers for some.
So, today on March 11, 2012, I think about that dreadful day a year ago, and I'm overcome with sadness for my gracious host nation and all of those in it.