Remembering February 22

Saturday, February 11, 2012
With the one year memorial approaching of the devastating Christchurch earthquake, I have been thinking of how we as a family can mark it.
No matter where you were, or what you were doing in Christchurch that day, everyone was impacted by the 12.51pm earthquake. It's something that we will remember for the rest of our lives, something that has changed us, and changed our world view, for the rest of our lives.

Now that we are no longer living in Canterbury, I want our family to remember what we went through that day. To remember God's mercy on us that He spared us, not just from death and injury, but from seeing death and injury to others too. Rob was probably the one who came closest to seeing that when he emerged from his building and saw the shattered remains and dust of the PGC Building, just along from his office.
 My children were just stepping off a school bus after returning from a swimming tournament. Meredith who had been quite traumatised by the September earthquake, found that in a crisis; that moment of danger, she had the courage to look after and comfort her friend on the bus who was very traumatised and panic-stricken, as the bus swayed and bounced. As my son described it, he said it felt like the naughty boys in the back were jumping up and down.

How grateful I am that they weren't still at the swimming complex, which was closed for months afterwards due to damage. How grateful I am that the elevator tower next to Robin's office didn't collapse on top of them. How grateful I am that I decided not to go in to the Art's Centre that day to my favourite quilt shop, but instead stayed home to make tomato soup.

I would like, every year, for us all to remember that day, to be thankful, to remember what we went through. I have been thinking about how to do this.

I think we will have a special 'thankfulness' meal at night. Maybe tomato soup should play a role in that as my way of remembering that day. I will be texting my husband and close friends at 12.51pm to mark the moment the earthquake struck, as that is what most of Christchurch tried to do at that time, trying to reach loved ones, not knowing if they had survived or not. I will never forget those horrible moments of uncertainty, just waiting for the phone to ring, or for him to answer.

I have also created online, and ordered 6 of these buttons.
I want us to wear them or display them on February 22.


Deb Robertson said...

I agree Rachel, it's something we can't get away from really because it's changed who we are forever I think. I didn't expect to find it as hard and have written two posts this week about it already. I like your idea of doing something significant!

Claudia said...

I saw this idea on Facebook. Find a road cone somewhere and decorate it with a flower to remember.

Julia said...

oh..that was a real scary day..I still remember the intense stress until I talked with my brother and learned that he and the family were ok.

I think it's a great idea to do something to acknowledge the event.

Cate said...

What a moving post Rachel & I fully agree that you should take the time to remember how your family and city was affected.

Anonymous said...

"To remember God's mercy on us that He spared us" and what about those that weren't spared? Like my good friend? Or "from seeing death and injury to others too" again... my wife and child saw lifeless people pulled from CTV. A thought for those whose gods mercy did not extend.

Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel said...

Dear Mr. Anonymous,
I know how you feel.But my blog is my own personal writings about my family and our lives. So I write to reflect that. God gives each of us so many days in our lives - we don't know when that will be up. He gives life and takes it away, and for us on a personal level, we are grateful that Feb 22 wasn't that day.
If you don't like what I have to say nobody is forcing you to read it. Most people who write blogs are pretty scornful at anonymous comments because it means that person is not prepared to stand behind what they say with their name - like you have something to hide or are ashamed. A type of cowardice, if you will. I will be deleting your comment in a day or two.

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