The other night, I was watching, BBC World News on PBS. The leading headline was, of course, the devastation in Japan. I tensed up, preparing for images of the aftermath and, the story of a Japanese man, a Husband and Father, unfolded before my eyes.
This unknown Japanese man went to the center where the bodies of the deceased were being transported and, everyday, this Japanese man scanned the paper lists, taped to a wall, edges bent from the wind, looking for his wife's name in the lists of the dead.
Holding my breath, I watched as he stepped toward the wall and scanned, not even trying to understand the emotions he must be feeling. After he scanned the list of the dead, not finding his wife's name, he would scan the list of the living.
The Wife and Mother had fled their home, racing by car to the home of some relatives, a home that was made out of steel and could withstand the force of an Earthquake and Tsunami wave. As she grabbed her two children out of her car, she made it as far as the first step of the long walkway to the relatives home, threw her children into the arms of of her relatives, before being swept away by the wave.
This Japanese man has still not found his Wife, the Mother of his Children, a boy and a girl under the age of ten. This man, returns to the center everyday because, his Children ask, "Are we going to find Mummy today?"
Oh my god....oh god...
As this woman was swept away, her children safe in the arms of family, did she have enough time to look at their faces, maybe for the last time? Did she say a prayer for them, for herself?
I know it's probably hopeless but, I can't help but hoping, with all of my heart that this Mother who made the ultimate sacrifice, is found alive. My hope is selfish because, I hope that if it were me, I would survive to be reunited with my Husband and Child and, if she makes it, maybe I would make it.
It is this story and, the many stories that have peppered the news in the last years that add to the layer of freezing fear, deep in the well of my heart and soul. I don't know what is going on in the world. There are people who tell me that we are living in the, "End Times", an age of the world where God has a hand in the lives of Man and is preparing for a Final Judgment on His creation. There are people who tell me that this is just a natural occurrence, that the Earth is tilting it's Axis by a couple of degrees and this is why there are so many Natural Disasters. I like to think that there are a few people who feel as I do, bewildered, wary and, a little afraid of what is going on because, we know there is no certainty but, we've been living our lives, waking up everyday and living them like there is going to be a tomorrow.
Still...deep in the pit of my stomach, I feel anxious fear, like a snake tensed, coiled and ready to strike, to flee with my Husband and my Child at a moments notice. I don't fear what is to come, my fear is whether or not we'll make it.
I might feel better if we had a stockpile but, in the end, that may not matter. In the end, it comes down to wit, endurance, courage, grit and, if you can afford it, a bit of mercy and compassion.
I don't know how to shoot a gun but, I’m pretty sure that I won't have to go to a range to learn how to fire one if it comes to a moment when a gun is shoved into my hand and someone screams at me, "SHOOT!". My only prayer will be that I don't shoot anyone innocent.
I don't have a stockpile of food or emergency supplies but, depending on what happens, we may need to move on and, between me and my Husband, we both have enough survival smarts to make it for awhile on our own.
I just wonder, how far can we get with a toddler? I thank god that I’m still breastfeeding because, we won't have to worry too much about food for Colin as long as there is some. He's at an age where, if the world goes to pot, diapers aren't going to be a big deal and he can learn to potty train by the side of the road, if need be.
Still...I fear. I fear so much more than I feared before I became a Mother...and I think of that missing Japanese woman, most likely beyond our world, and of her loving sacrifice and she is a symbol of the heroic nature and the passionate, tender love of Mother's everywhere.
I can only hope that if death were running toward me, Colin in tow, that I could make it somewhere Colin would be safe, hoping until the last second that I could remain with Colin, fighting with all my heart and body until that wave swept me away. I would scream His name and the name of his Father and in my heart, as I was swept away, I would vow, with every breath I was given, to be reunited with them, someway, somehow.
She may not be reunited with them in this life but, I believe that she will be there when they make that journey into the next life, the one that is supposed to go on forever.
God bless the people of Japan.
God bless us all.
6 months ago