This day seven years ago was a completely normal one, until 4:53 in the afternoon, when everything changed. I had left my classroom that afternoon to walk home, with my lesson plans on my desk for the next day, and it was six months before I taught again. The earth shook, and many died - even seven years later, nobody knows exactly how many.
I never knew before seven years ago how common earthquakes are. They happen all the time. The earth is not solid, not stable; it can move, and everything you counted on can be different in a moment. I can't look away from earthquake stories. And I can't read one without remembering that night on the soccer field, those terrifying aftershocks, those hours and days filled with fear, grief, and adrenaline.
This day, January 12th, will always be full of emotion. We mourn for those who were lost. We remember. We will never forget.
4 hours ago