It was one of those strange days that happen now and then. Memories of the earthquake returned. This happens randomly, out of the blue. There is usually a tigger, and it doesn't even have to be an aftershock.
Today the kids and I were going to the mall. The teenagers each had a couple of things they wanted to buy and both needed haircuts. They helped me get all sorts of housey jobs done and we took off just after lunch, everyone in good moods, until we hit the road. Traffic. What a nightmare! I know that many places regularly have congested roads, but I hate to say it, as tough as we've been getting past the earthquake, most of us poor Christchurch residence just can't cope with this traffic thing. Not that there aren't some very polite people out there driving, but the others, stressed out and angry, are just so noticable.
Both the teenagers and I asked the same question in different ways as we drove. Is this the 'new normal' and if it is, is it going to last forever? How can we live like this?
We didn't make it to the mall. We put it in the too hard box and turned around. We wound up on the street where we lived in the Old, New House (the first renter). Driving down that road brought back alot of memories. And we all re-lived that day as we went over the cracks and bumps on the road. I retold them the story of Ric and I driving down that road as it flooded, and finding that it had lifted in places and we had to go up over the foot path to get on. They told me a few stories I hadn't heard.
They had driven from school with their eldest sister and brother-in-law while we tried to help a young mum and her son get home. I knew (and we laughed about it again) that their sister had been in a panic about the towering apartment buildings possibly coming down on them as they drove. I didn't know that they saw the side of a house cave in. Scary.
Memories aren't bad and returning to them can actually be good. In this case I found out something important about my children's experience. But even on my own, the remembering the earthquake can be good.
I remember the horror, but I also remember seeing Maddee in Ric's arms (he jumped the fence, I had to go around it!)when I arrived at her preschool. I remember the relief of Rosee's calls from down south as she made contact with the family because we couldn't get our phones to call out. I remember the feeling of standing with all my kids and my son-in-law and finally knowing that everyone was safe. I remember feeling that God was with us, and hoping and praying that He would give that comfort to those who had loved-ones still missing.
Life is complicated. It can be sunny, then cloud up and rain. It can be horrifing (going through an earthquake), then wonderful (hugging your children after an earthquake). I guess that's why remembering an earthquake with your kids while driving through the traffic can be such a marvelous time.