On October 17th, 2009, I took Jada to the 20th Anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake at the Cypress Memorial in Oakland. It was at that location where I lost my father in the collapsed freeway structure. I was only 8 years old, the same age that Jada was when I demonstrated to her what the seismic graph means. I took her by the shoulders and shook her vigorously, hoping she can make the connection of how the earth shook so hard that it took my father away.
As I reflect on the earthquake in Japan, I understand how powerful the earth can be. I know that on many scales, including the Richter, this recent earthquake weighs far heavier than the Loma Prieta back in 1989. But I can’t but help make a comparison, because it’s the same earth, the same boiled-up energy, and the same chain reactions of tectonic plates that caused any and all of it to happen. I know how it is to wait for 3 days with worry, only to learn that he wasn’t coming home…ever. I know how it is to lose someone when the earth shakes.
But there is so much I don’t know, and can’t ever understand. Tsunamis, nuclear radiation…this is on a whole other level. Things are happening, and I will take this day of silence to reflect on it.