Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Tutti è Bene

In reverse chronological order, these occurrences happened over the last two days:

13. I breathe a sigh of relief, which is all that keeps me from collapsing in a pile of nervous tears.
12. My mom reassures me that Aunt C. is in Los Angeles, staying with another uncle of mine, and that her house is actually fairly far removed from the high-impact areas.
11. I jump on the phone to my mom: "Where does Aunt C. live?"
10. I check my address book and, sure enough, my aunt had sent us her new address several months ago. In Sri Lanka.
9. I return home from work.
8. Nagged by my gut feelings that my aunt has moved away from Jakarta, I make a mental note to check my address book at home.
7. I open up my address book on my work computer, which lists my aunt's address as being in Jakarta. Not helpful.
6. In the back of my mind, I have a vague memory that my aunt and her family may have moved to Sri Lanka in recent memory.
5. I go about my day, somewhat numbed by sheer majesty of this natural disaster.
4. Firing up my web browser, I noted a death count of somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 from the tsunamis. I am saddened, yet still somewhat detached from the tragedy.
3. I go to work.
2. I shake the sleep out of my eyes.
1. I hear for the first time the news about the devastating tsunami hitting Sri Lanka and other parts of southern Asia on NPR, which is what my clock radio is set to.

For all my bitching about my family (regular readers of this blog have mostly been spared the worst of my horrible opinions about my kin), blood is still thicker than water, and it's experiences like this that confirm that for me. Aunt C. and I aren't really that close -- she and her family literally live a world away from the U.S., and when she does come to the U.S., it's to visit my relatives on the West Coast. Even so, the thought that family members of mine, whom I love presumptively, could actually be victims of such a terrible experience struck fear into my heart. Thankfully, my loved ones are safe. It's sad that it takes a near-death experience to jolt Aunt C., her husband, and her daughter back into my consciousness.

I really must make more of an effort to see those relatives I can more often. Because you never know if the last time you saw them was the last time you'll ever see them.

1 comment:

Jon said...

I'm glad to hear that everyone in your family is alright-- the numbers of casualties in this earthquake/tsunami are astronomical. And every time I turn on the TV, the numbers go up.