Wednesday, February 23, 2011

1 Day after #Chch #Eqnz 2011. 172 days after #Chch #Eqnz Sept 2010

This is a ramble of random thoughts.
A state of national emergency has been declared – the first in our country’s history.  The rescue efforts at the CTV building have been called off – there is no longer any chance of survival, and teams are needed at other site where trapped people are known to be alive.
On a personal note, we have power.  There is water in the taps, but only on low pressure, and of unknown quantity.  We have plenty of stored safe water, having learnt our lesson in September.  The chimney is wobbly, and “on the list” but understandably there are more important things for emergency services to worry about. 
We spent last night bunking down at the neighbours.  I was worried about our chimney, but also needed the company.  I knew there would be lots of aftershocks during the first night – just like there were in September.
My two year old wouldn’t let me go for most of the day.  I didn’t sleep well last night because whenever I closed my eyes all I could see were buildings falling towards me.  I felt sick to the pit of my stomach when I read about a mother who had perished by being crushed by falling rubble, only metres away from where I had been running to avoid meeting the same fate.  I hugged my two year old back – he still has a Mummy to hug.  There’s a baby out there that doesn’t.
I walked about 4 km each way to the nearest open supermarket to find some groceries. Our car is currently at the mechanics awaiting parts – we now don’t know how long that wait will take. The buses are not running. We were down to one loaf of bread and assorted tins.  I had the two year old in the pram (he wasn’t going to let me leave without him).  There were horrendously long queues at the few petrol stations open.  By the time I got to the supermarket there wasn’t a scrap of bread left.  Milk was being rationed.  But I was able to get some fruit, meat, milk and sanity supplies (i.e. chocolate).
The walk actually did me good.  I had been spending too much time reading the news coverage on the internet, and was getting very upset and worked up.  The walk gave me a chance to just work through some of the stuff in my head, and I felt emotionally better by the time I was home.
What I’m focusing on at the moment are these things.
  • I’m alive
  • My family are all accounted for and safe
  • I have a roof over my head (we won’t think too much about the chimney).
  • We have water (bottled) and food and power.
I still feel grief and anguish over those who have perished.  I don’t yet know if anyone I know is among the dead or missing – I’m still working through trying to get in touch with all my friends.  Right now I’m finding it hard to pray – how do I pray? What do I pray? It just feels too much, and when I try to pray I just choke up.  Where does my faith fit into this?  Everything I wrote in September still holds, I still believe it.  But right now the feelings are too strong, too raw to actually process anything at that level. 
To all my readers outside of Christchurch – thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  Please keep praying – we’re wobbling with an aftershock as I write this, and my stomach is retying itself into the knots I thought I’d started to unravel.  Pray especially for those who have lost loved ones.  Pray for those still trapped and alive.  Pray for our nerves.

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