March 10, 2011 around 11:45pm PST my wife was watching TV in the other room when she rushed out with a grim look on her face. "Ed, you need to see this."
I slowly hauled myself up from my desk, tired after a 15 hour day in what had been a long week. Wife and son recovering from the flu. The usual frenetic round of weekly kid's activities and business meetings, capped by a couple of client rush jobs. Our Volvo had broken down yet again. And we'd been preparing for a visit by a Japanese exchange student from Tsuchiura* this Saturday.
As I shuffled into the family room, my wife just pointed at the TV.
I watched a wall of water rush across farmlands while the screen ticker explained that a tsunami had been unleashed by an earthquake off the Sendai coast. Disbelief as I realized that the small objects being swept away were houses! Shock as I realized the water was moving faster than the cars on the highway! Horror as it sank in that this was not a Hollywood movie.
How trivial my little problems.
Please pray for the people of Japan as they struggle with the aftermath of the disaster. Here is a link to the Red Cross website if you want to help.
* Understandably and unfortunately, the Tsuchiura exchange visit has been canceled. Tsuchiura is a city 50 km (~30 miles) north of Tokyo but south of Sendai. While not directly affected by the tsunami, the city did sustain damage from the numerous aftershocks of the earthquake, has experienced disruption of utility services, and is concerned about the potential threat posed by the partial meltdown at the nuclear reactor complex in Fukushima just 200km (~125 miles) away.