Today marks six years since the earthquake that shook Haiti and changed my life. I wrote about it extensively in 2010, sharing what happened that day and in the months that followed when my children and I went to the United States. You can find those posts in my archives.
At first, I thought about the earthquake every minute, and then there were brief periods of respite. For a long time, Tuesdays were "earthquake days" (and this year is the first anniversary to be on a Tuesday, like the original day in 2010). For a long time, the 12th of every month was a painful reminder. Now, I sometimes go a few weeks without consciously remembering the earthquake, but there are still moments that jolt me back into those hours; road work that shakes the house, a glimpse of an unfamiliar name on my husband's Facebook page ("Who is that?" "Oh, we met in the earthquake time."), passing some rubble when we drive through an area that we don't visit often. But in other ways, the earthquake is with me every day. The way I see the world is fundamentally changed. Relationships are changed. I live with the awareness that everything can be different in an instant.
This is a sad, sad anniversary every year. I will never understand it, never be able to wrap up the lessons in a bow. It was a horrible tragedy. We don't even know how many people died, but probably at least 230,000. Everyone lost someone.
Good things came out of it too, and on other days I will think of those. But today I grieve.
6 hours ago