Six Months On

21 Aug

I just sent a text that pretty much sums up how I feel about today, 6 months on from the earthquake that made our city fall to it’s knees.

On the morning of the 22nd of February I had a big grin on my face, I was thinking that life can only get better from here. The 21st had been pretty monumental for me. I was excited.

I was getting Brooklyn ready for preschool, then I was going to head into the city for a late lunch. We were running 20 minutes late, so slack! I was driving along Fitzgerald Ave when the quake hit. Everything fell down around us. After checking on preschool I realised I wasn’t going to be able to get the car home, people were telling me the bridge had been taken out and everywhere I looked the roads were destroyed. I had to leave the car in the CBD and walk home with the kids. Brooklyn, who has autism, was beside himself. He kept yelling at everyone to clean up the broken buildings. “Who did this?”, he would ask strangers. “Did you do this? It is not okay, clean it up NOW!”. I was beside myself, on Barbadoes Street with tears streaming down my face, covered in silt trying to figure out where to from here. There were seriously injured people everywhere, mostly head injuries.

This is where we were when the quake hit.

It took me over an and hour and a half to get the kids from the corner of  Barbadoes and Armagh Street to the Bealey Ave end of Geraldine Street. The paths looked like they had been torn apart, plus they were flooded and covered in silt. We got into our house and it looked liked we had been raided. Nearly everything we owned was broken and on the floor. I huddled the kids onto the couch and tried to calm them down while we waited for Mike to get home. We got out to Rolleston and my parents took us in.
Two days on we were safe up in Auckland. Thanks to the help of twitter family and Mike’s family we were taken care in a way I will be forever teary and grateful for. Thank you to everyone who helped, who spent time with me, who calmed me down, who talked to me.  Twitter is the only community and family that I can say that I feel I belong in. Thank you all for that.

So what now, six months on? Life has changed so much for me, for the better. As a city we are closer. We take care of each-other. We celebrate more, complain less. We celebrate things like our power coming back on, having toilets we can flush. I personally am really excited about getting a new city.  On a more personal level as you can probably tell my life has changed nearly every month. I’ve been through a lot of hurt over the last six months, I’m on track now. I’m grateful for that.

I still cannot quite believe how in just a few horrendous moments your life path can change so dramatically, and how I can come out the other side and say that I know I am going to be okay.

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