I have been seeing a lot of images like these today. Photographs of people clutching their pets after the massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on Friday. The pictures are heartbreaking and yet, comforting in a strange way. Pets bring people comfort. My heart aches for the loss of life in this tragedy, including the animals.
As I slid into bed last night, I was reminded of those who no longer have a home, more or less, a bed to slide into. Temperatures are dropping in Japan and so many are without power or places to stay. There I was, under my three blankets (one plugged into the wall), feeling guilty knowing there are people huddling together somewhere just hoping and praying for rescue. I can't even imagine how many are trapped under debris. Yesterday afternoon I went around the house forcing myself to drink more water to help with my weight-loss. The entire day I thought about people in Japan who haven't had a sip of water since Friday. And here I am dieting, trying not to eat more than I should, but many people in Japan have no food whatsoever. It really puts things into perspective, at least it does for me.
We are so blessed in America. I see these images and videos of what's going on in Japan and it's absolutely heartbreaking. Then I turn around and see people here complaining about their jobs, needing vacations, high gas prices, unions, even the weather not being to their liking. It makes me wonder sometimes. I know life goes on and there's only so much we can do, but it still makes me wonder. I know people aren't heartless. I know they care and that they're giving in ways they can to help. It's just weird to listen to people complain about petty things when an entire country has been hit so hard. I understand people here have heartaches and some are going through terrible times. I'm not trying to downplay anyone or what they're going through. For me, it's just extremely humbling. My so-called problems are nothing. Compared to people in Japan right now, I have no problems. I am truly fortunate.
I've seen a lot of disasters strike in my 46 years. When they do, I become a news junkie and can't seem to pull myself away from watching. Sometimes they've hit close to home. I remember evacuating from floods and fires before. I've been through more earthquakes than I can even remember. However, I have never seen anything like what Japan just experienced. No one has. No matter how strong we build our buildings and how on top of earthquakes we become, I don't think we'll ever be able to fully understand the power of water. We take water for granted. It's always there in the tap when we're thirsty. It's in the lake when we want to go out on the boat. It's in the hose to wash the car, give the dog a bath, or even run through the sprinkler to cool off. You simply don't expect to see a fighter jet floating through town or a ferry sitting on top of your home. Even more so, you don't expect to see entire cities and their inhabitants washed out to sea. These images will stay with us forever -- and they rightly should.