Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Remembering, With the Help of Friends.

A college friend of mine emailed me yesterday. Considering my poor track record in keeping in touch with people this in itself should be amazing enough, but this was particularly special.

'When you were in Akita,' he began, 'you posted something on facebook...'

He'd dug up two posts for me from March 2011, when I was in the midst of getting my family out of Fukushima and out of Japan while the nuclear reactors were blowing up down on the Fukushima coast, fifty miles or so from where we were living. I was keeping my family and friends up to date on what was happening, where we were and what we were doing - or what I thought we were doing - and though I thought at the time I was doing it for them maybe I was really doing it for me. Either way, standing at a computer in a hotel lobby in Akita Prefecture, this is what I wrote:

"In a hotel in northern Akita, the boys are being total champs, tentative flights tomorrow to tokyo then new jersey, no guarantees. My wife to her mom over the phone - 'good-bye for now' - hit me with something i have never felt. I am wrestling not with the decision to get my family out of here but with leaving when so many people can not."

My friend's response:

"I am glad to hear you are still OK. #1 priority has to be the safety and security of the kids - but all will stay in prayers and thoughts. Travel safely. Reading you post up above makes me wonder if you just stumbled across the title of your next book. A thought for another day..."

With this, my friend brought back a flood of memories which, while they hadn't disappeared, were sitting dormant behind many others. So add to the dedication of this modest recounting the many good friends who helped get me through.

'For Now - After the Quake: A Father's Journey', is my story of the hours and days following the March 11, 2011 earthquake in Japan.

Download for free here.