Saturday, March 12, 2011


Tonight this little sliver of moon reflected my feelings – a ray of hope in a dark time.DSC_0151

My husband came home from basket ball practice yesterday morning at little after 7:30. He told me to turn the TV on. He told me that there was huge earthquake in northern Japan and that our daughter and her family are evacuated. I could not comprehend what he was saying, what has an earthquake in Japan got to do with my daughter in Hawaii? I tried to ask him but he jumped in the shower so I turned the TV on and I was horrified to see the devastating images of the earthquake. I called my Japanese friend who is from Sendai and now lives here in Oregon - no answer, just voice mail. My husband got out of the shower and watched news with me for a while. At some point I understood about the tsunami and why our daughter evacuated.

I was in Japan for my uncle’s memorial service in 1995 when the Kobe earthquake hit. The service was held in Kyushu (southern island of Japan) a day before the earthquake and relatives came from Osaka and Nagoya. They drove home late that evening. Some relatives were waffling whether to stay one more night in Kyushu and drive home the next day but all decided to leave, that decision may have saved their lives. The next morning, the freeway bridge which they traveled over collapsed from the earthquake. My worried husband called me from the States. My son then 8 years old was asked by teachers and friend’s parents who know that I was in Japan about my safety so much that he got really concerned. His class made me a ‘Thinking about you’ card and gave it to me upon my return.  I usually travel in Japan by bullet train but this one time, I decided to go to Fukuoka and Narita by airplane. Because of this catastrophe, the government shut down the train operation for a time. Many stranded travelers came to Fukuoka airport. I was really lucky that I already had a ticket. I was able to come home as planned.

When this magnitude of natural disaster happened, I was on my knees with my prayers. Through out the day, I was thinking about my daughter and her family and friends in Japan and their families and of course my family. Fortunately I was able to reach them and they are all OK. I had many things planned for yesterday but my apathy crept in and I accomplished nothing. I warmed up left overs for dinner and my husband took me to Starbucks for a salted caramel hot chocolate which was not on the menu any more but the barista agree to make for me. With the hot cup in my hand and bite of Red Velvet Whoopee pie, I felt blessed.


Reading my daughter’s food blog with no food pictures that night made me warm and grateful. My friend finally called to say that her family’s home had damage and they were forced to live in tent for now but they are safe. Imagining how cold they are in that make shift tent, my heart aches for them. I don’t understand what the meaning of this is but I was on my knees again thanking God for many blessings and hoping sincerely for their quick recovery.


  1. This is a very good post. Your words are comforting. I hope your friends can leave Sendai in light of the nuclear plant. Somehow I did not know this story about the Kobe earthquake. How can that be?

  2. I didn't know that story about Kobe either. I know from serving so close to Kobe that the earthquake that hit there is still something the people living there still think about often. I talked with different members about it and they showed pictures. Hard to imagine that Sendai was hit much much harder.

  3. i love this post too...thank god japan (and their structures) were prepared for this. the outcome could have been REALLY bad.
    i was thinking of all the japanese stuck here, and how sad they must feel that they can't be home.
    if that happened to hawaii and i was on the mainland i would be sick. for some strange reason i'd wanna suffer with my people.
    i am praying with you for japan!

  4. thank you for a beautiful post.

  5. Mariko and Kegan, How can both not remember the Kobe earthquake? Mariko, you are like 14 years old? I was really scared though. I thought I might not see you guys. I was so glad to be back in States.
    Thank you for the comments.

  6. Dear FootPrints and Karen, Thank you for your comments and prayers. You two are so sweet.