It seems so mundane at times when you hear or see people talk about life in general and how plain or dull it is. I find myself at times praying for that but would balk at the thought and just laugh it off. If I could only show them the things I have seen or have survived and the spiritual affects that seem to replay itself on certain times of the year is truly scary. I will relay to you all one instance and I hope you find the heart to feel the inspiration I felt to tell this story.
Due to my job, I have been nicknamed Dracula or Vampire by friends and family but I have found it to just "be". I figured its my schedule and so I am not going to cry about the hours. I put in work I truly. Do.
September 28th 2009 was like any other night. Punching logs and signing off on the earlier shifts work when our private line rings and it was my boss saying that I had to attend an emergency Emergency Response Team meeting for the media. One of my colleagues would meet me at the Op center. I signed out and made my way over to the Center which was about a 15 minute drive from our office. I pull up and he was already there and looked at the time. 2 A.M. "Man I hope this doesn't take all morning " I say in a sarcastic tone to my co worker and he nods in agreement. We had been talking about fifteen to twenty minutes when the rest of the media response teams arrived and the meeting began. The meeting lasted for about two hours. My coworker and I make our way to our cars and say our farewells and I head home.
I live about forty five minutes to an hour away so I got home as the sun was barely making its rays pierce the dark blanket of the night sky. I was so beat. I had no intention of waking up when I usually do (which was about 7 or 8 A.M). I run straight up to my room throw off my work bag and clothes and jump into bed in my boxers and thoughts of sleep and getting lost in its mysteries was all I longed for. My head hit the pillow and there was never a second thought.
My body is being shaken by a force I can seem to see. Am I dreaming? Wait, open your eyes. OPEN THEM NOW!... My mind is screaming at me as I force my eyes open. As they clear up and I can make out that no one was standing at the foot of my bed yet the whole room was shaking like I have never seen in my life. My windows vibrating like twenty inch subs were right outside my window and just humming. While my floor is waving like the ocean about fifty yards away from my house. I jumped out of bed once I realized that it was an earthquake and ran to find the first solid cement beam of the house and hid under it. I was calling out frantically to my family to see if they were alright and found relief when I heard them call out. The earthquake lasted about 3 three minutes.
About ten to fifteen minutes later the first of two waves that hit my village (other villages were hit with three). Gathering family and neighbors and moving them to safety was more than just challenge that day but I was relieved to know no one I cared about was hurt or lost due to this natural disaster.
A year later...
It started around the holidays that year. I had many but I want to share this one with you.
We lost about one hundred and plus people due to the tsunami. My island lost about thirty people. Stories have been floating around of the mother and daughter who were swept up in their car and never seen again. It was not until the rubble cleared were they found and it was so heart wrenching to witness the teams and family members tear and cry for their loved ones.
Or the story of the woman who was walking her daughter to the bus and lost her daughter only to save other kids swept in by the wave and never be seen again.
These two incidents have had the most witnesses to see these individuals.
My experience is with the first.
I had just gotten off of work and was heading home. My mind was clear and the night was beautiful with a beautiful full moon. I must have a been about two weeks until Christmas when this happened.
I hadn't noticed but I was alone on the road. I found that weird as it was a work day. But I didn't let it bother me as I loved the feeling of freedom. It wasn't long when I had the feeling urgency and importance creep up inside of me. So my eyes got wider and my heart started to beat slower as things around me started to slow down. I cannot explain it. It felt like I had entered a different space or plane yet everything was the same. I noticed a small sedan that was now in front of my truck. I didn't see it there before nor did I see it pull onto the road. It was just there.
As we entered the next village it was like watching a toy being thrown by a two year old throwing a temper tantrum. The sedan went sailing in the air and disappeared. Like it wasn't there. I started to brake but found that my truck felt like it was on auto pilot. I saw buildings that were rebuilt looking like they did the day of the tsunami and people with scars and broken limbs crawling and reaching for help but couldn't be seen or heard. It lasted about five six minutes. The last thing I remember is a little girl who I saw prior to seeing the sedan literally fly off the road; who was looking out the back window. Her face lifeless and sad.
I slammed on the brakes. I couldn't believe what I had just seen. The people who died in this particular village and the little girl and her mom who was driving the sedan whom perished that day also. When I asked a person from that village about the car and they described exactly what I seen. The car being lifted about eight to ten feet in the air and then disappearing in the waves as it continued its way inward. The villager also said that she saw the little girl looking out the back of the car and crying out for help as the car flipped and disappeared.
This was two years ago. Last year, it was a woman who looked like the driver looking for her child. She would just come up to people dressed in rags asking if anyone had seen her daughter. I also happened to see her and she looked like the mother of the girl who was driving. (as the car was being totaled by the wave, the little girl was thrown from the vehicle and no one knows what happened after. She was found more than a mile away from where her mother was found. She; the mother; was still strapped in to her sedan and her clothes had been shredded by broken glass and debris.)
It's funny because its that time of year again and I wonder if I will experience another episode. I hope that I do. All I know is that, surviving hurricanes, floods, tsunamis has left its eternal mark not only on the island but on my memory.