I don’t remember much of that morning. I do remember turning on the TV and seeing the news. When the headlines flashed, I immediately ran upstairs to wake up my wife and tell her what happened.
“Honey, a magnitude 8.9 quake struck northeast Japan.”
My wife was already rolling out of bed. “Yes, I know. I could hear the TV up here.”
I don’t know how much time we spent watching TV that day. We were glued to it with every moment we had. And as the evening drew on, we stayed up late watching the news.
Over the course of the next few days we were able to contact friends and family. We also received well wishes from many friends here, hoping that everyone we knew was okay. We were sure family members were fine. We don't know anyone in the area in the area that was hardest hit. My wife does have an uncle in Tokyo and we have friends there as well. No one injured. We have other family and friends in Osaka (west southwest of Tokyo) on the main island, and in Fukuoka, on the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands.
Still, our hearts went out to those enduring the suffering. For me, I kept thinking about the passenger trains that were washed out to sea. Riding along the Pacific coastline of Japan is a beautiful ride. I can’t imagine what people went through as they watched the tsunami coming toward them and realized there was no way out.
I’ve added a few links for donations, if anyone is interested. Below that, I’ve set up links of my family’s trip to Japan back in 2008. I hope you enjoy the beauty of the place I once called home for four years.
For the Japanese embassy’s website, click here.
My good friend, Jeannie Lin, has self-published a Japan-related short story titled "Pieces of Paper." Proceeds will go to relief efforts. Click here to go to Jeannie's website.
For an auction from Children’s Authors and Illustrators, click here.
For a Time news article that offers various suggestions for giving, click here.
If you can, please give.
Below is Day-by-Day review of our trip in 2008. As I've combined two blogs into one, there are other columns in between. I hope it's not confusing.