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The Definition of Courage

One of my favourite sayings is:

Courage is not the absence of fear or despair, it is the strength to overcome them.

My strength and courage is about to be tested when we go on holiday in fourteen days.

‘On holiday?’ I hear you say… Yep on holiday. We are going home. To the quake ravaged city of Christchurch.

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Must admit, although I am exetremly grateful that I was not there to go through it, and that my family are remarkably all ok, Im not looking forward to going there.

When I was living in Christchurch I had fears of there being a large earthquake, never did I imagine  it could happen to this scale. Im now pleased to be living in Australia, but in two weeks its my father-in-law’s 50th birthday and we will be attending.

Of course we have the feeling of wanting to go home to help where we can but in the pit of my stomach I just don’t feel safe. I’m almost traumatized at the thought of what those poor people who have lost loved ones are going through right now. But we are going.

We had our own harrowing experience, we were not able to contact my daughter’s Grandmother for quite some hours. Her friends were asking us if we had heard from her and none of the other family members had heard from her either. What happened was that she was able to get out of the building but her car and belongings were stuck in there and she had to walk four hours home and was unable to contact anyone to let us know she was safe until in my panic I asked somebody I knew to check her house. When this person got home they posted on facebook that she was alright!  I have never been so grateful for social networking!!

Another of my friends is a mechanic, he was at work when the shaking started, he told me the noise is terrifying and he thought to himself, ‘well this is it, I’m gone’ the hanging lights of the workshop came crashing down around him and the floor opened up – a foot wide crack is now present right in the middle of their workshop. He says that although the big earthquake was terrifying and horrible, the hardest thing to deal with is the aftershocks. They just never seem to stop.

It’s hard to imagine, after being in scary earthquakes that have done no damage, and imagine the terrifying minute that brought down almost a whole city crumbling to the ground, taking Brothers and Sisters, Mums, Dads, Aunts and Uncles away from their families. I almost cry every time I see the news, and see more images of the place that I did my growing up, all the places that have a memory for me now a pile of concrete.

My only wish is that for all the people who remain in Christchurch to carry on with the strength, dignity and determination that they have shown to the world since September, and I’d like to say to them Kia Kaha my friends, and God or whoever is out there, Bless You.