Tommy, my husband, is in the Coast Guard here on Maui. He has a separate ringer for when work calls, and while sitting together on our sofa, his phone rang that extremely recognizable, high pitched tone last night. It's never good when it's past eight and he gets a phone call.
We don't have television, so should there be any news, we typically hear it from friends, family, or facebook first. When we hear it from his work first, I automatically start to panic. It was hard to take the tsunami serious in my mind at first blush since last years was so uneventful. He and our good friend and roommate, Kyle, left for the station and I immediately went to CNN.com.
WOW... my heart flew into my throat with a sensation that I might actually throw up. Poor Japan. They didn't even know what hit them. All those farmers, those families, the people at the airport, the cars and trucks trying to drive their way to escape the treacherous wave. One video was enough for me... I began filling up our bathtub, filtering lots of drinking water, and preparing the house for guests. Lono just watched, completely oblivious to what is going on around him. That was comforting to me, as they say animals have an instinct for disaster, and he didn't seem to be too worried the least.
I spent those hours keeping friends and family posted on Facebook and making preparations for the worst. Without my friends and families support, I likely would've given myself a heart attack wallowing in my own fears for my husband and my beloved Coast Guard family at Maalaea. I got a call from Tommy saying he was coming home. My heart lept with joy... if anything did happen, at least I had him and Lono by my side. He came home and slept to prepare himself for whatever the next day brought their crew. I have no idea what time I actually wore myself into exhaustion and fell asleep, but I did remember to set my alarm for 3am, (20minutes before the predicted first wave). After waking and an hour of watching dark beach cams, as well as receiving phone calls from family and people who might as well be my family, (Thanks Thondreau's!), I fell asleep again. Waking this morning to hear that everyone was ok, just some building damages and massive road debris, was like lifting the world from my shoulders.
My real estate office is closed as it's by the ocean and got a good washing. I have an engagement photo shoot tonight and the weather is beautiful. How can life seem so normal after such a disaster? I can't stop thinking about Japan. I volunteer with the Red Cross, and I'm wondering if I'm going to get the phone call to go over there to help. I would in a heartbeat, though Tommy allowing it is another matter. I understand his worry, but I want to go should they ask. Roads are still closed, and houses are damaged, but everyone is safe... even the turtle that got washed on to the road was rescued. I feel fortunate. I feel even more fortunate for the over seventy messages of love and well wishes I got last night and this morning. My heart is swollen....yet aching for Japan.
Tomoko and I, Akaka Falls, HI (2006)
I have a good friend in Japan, (Tomoko), whom we met on Big Island when we were volunteering doing organic farming. We have kept in touch for 5 years now. I sent her a message... I hope she's ok.
No matter what may happen in this unpredictable world we live in... or on this unpredictable island, I still would not change living on Maui for anything. I love this place.
My love to all of you near and far who have felt any pain or suffering from this disaster.