I haven't been blogging about it but it doesn't mean we're not still thinking about it.
Just yesterday the news said that some of the schools in the disaster areas were opening for the first time. Over a month later than the rest of the country. Some kids still can't go to the schools they used to and the entire school has been transferred to a new school. Many families have moved temporarily or permanently to different areas- no house or job anymore... and the kids will start a new chapter in their lives in a new environment.
K's parents house is back in living order, they have had the foundation fixed and thrown out mountains of broken things. MIL says the house feels bigger. I have been suggesting that less furniture would have that effect for years only I was thinking of decluttering under better circumstances!
The heart-wrenching stories are still coming out and a lot of people are going to need a lot of help for a long time to come. I found this personal blog from a nurse who was in Iwate with a medical team:
It's only 14 entries long but it's so human and touching as she describes what she is seeing and doing and feeling.
Personally I'm still shaken up by it all and cry when I see stories on the news- even the happy ones! It has been raining hard Since Monday night and it's the snow melt season as well. As I was driving to work yesterday I drove down by the river.
WEEEE-AAAAAA WEEEEEE-AAAAAAAA WEEEEEE-AAAAAAA
I immediately started crying.
It was just the siren going off to warn us that they are releasing water from the dam up stream and that the river level may rise suddenly. It happens every Spring. I know that. But somehow hearing the siren and thinking about all that water rushing down from the mountains made me remember all the footage of the tsunami- with the tsunami warning sirens going constantly in the background...
The radiation problem is still very real, too. K's parents are not growing anything in their vegetable garden this year. A couple of their neighbours have gone ahead with planting but most have opted not too. This is a huge blow to them as, as well as the obvious lack of vegetables, in all honesty, vegetable gardening in their tiny plot is my FILs only hobby. MIL is already worried about his health and being stuck inside all day won't help things either.
Of course all this complaining is underlaid with feelings of guilt for even having the luxury of wondering whether to plant vegetables when so many are still living in evacuation centres.
There was a line in the nurse's blog that really stuck with me. She was talking about living day to day and not having peace of mind to think of the future and she said all you can do is hope tomorrow is better than today. And I think that, even if it is incremental, if something positive is done towards reconstruction each day then all the tomorrows will be slightly better than today. And that might not sound like much but it's a lot.