Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Not the Post I Expected to Make...

I had a post all in my head, I am about to embark on something fresh and new...
but that will have to wait.

Yesterday afternoon at 12.51pm a devastating earthquake hit Christchurch and outlying areas. I grabbed Sian, the only of the midgets that was at home, and cowered under a doorway, it was hard to run, the ground was very very violent.

Within minutes I realised that this had been worse than the September 4th, 2010 earthquake.... the national TV stations were showing scary images that reminded me of 9/11 with people running, smoke, dust, confusion, terror and all this happening out in front of me - in the distance....

I tracked down family and most friends, all seemed fine.

Then my sister phoned. Her best friend, and friend of mine, had lost her husband... but let's go back a couple of years...

Chris (Mrs) married Chris (Mr) five years ago in November. They were very happy, 2 black labs, good jobs, nice house in the burbs. They struggled to have a baby and finally got accepted onto the IVF programme, after multiple tries and disappointments they had a bouncy wee baby boy. Just after he was born Chris (Mr) was transfered, with his painting job, to Auckland from Christchurch. Away the family embarked on a new adventure.

Things were slow to settle in Auckland, hard enough being in a new place with no family or friends, especially with a wee baby, but Chris (Mr) was struggling to cope with the new warmer climate, he was always tired and felt like he might be coming down with something.. this went on for months, nothing was ever found at the Drs, he was just struggling. Enough was enough, he put his foot down and refused to leave the Drs one day until this was sorted.... by the end of the day he had been admitted to hospital, only to leave for small periods of time over the next couple of years. He had an aggressive form of leukaemia, then they found tumours, then they found bone cancer.... the poor buggar was in a state. Chris (Mrs) was struggling too, no support, constant hospital visits where she wasn't allowed to take her baby in because of the high risk to Chris (Mr). In a time of stable blood cell count the family relocated back to Christchurch, where Chris (Mr) took up near permanent residence in Christchurch Hospital's Oncology unit. Every time things looked a bit better he would be out for a day or two and then things would go bad, he'd be back in. In October 2010 he received a bone marrow transplant, which at first didn't take, but finally started to do it's thing and make him healthier....

January 18th, 2011 - four weeks ago, Chris (Mrs) was ecstatic, her facebook page said it all. Chris (Mr) was being release from hospital, not just for the day but for good. They couldn't be happier, they had a new home in Brighton, health was returning to their family.

Yesterday morning they left their wee son with Chris'(Mrs) parents and headed into the city, did some jobs and had a lovely lunch in Cashel Mall, near the Bridge of Rememberance....

at 12.51pm the 6.3 magnitude earthquake abruptly hit Christchurch and ripped their lives apart - permanently.

They were just walking out of the cafe as it happened, Chris (Mrs) pushed her husband hard out of the way of falling debri, he still didn't have the strength to move at any pace. He was knocked to the ground by part of a falling building and she threw herself over top of him to protect him from anything else coming down. When the dust cleared she noticed that he was bleeding out from his leg, she ripped off her top and tried to tourniquet his thigh, it wouldn't work, he fell unconcious. A couple of people tried CPR but he didn't recover and a policeman told them they had to leave. Chris (Mrs) punched the policeman in despair, how could he think she could leave her still warm husband there?? She had no choice, a shop assistant covered his body with a curtain, Chris (Mrs) took his wallet from his pants, she couldn't bear to think of people going through it, and she wrote his name and details on the curtain ---- and left her soulmate.

She wandered through town alone, there was no support around, a mother and father ran past her with their obviously dead daughter in their arms, screaming for help. There was none. Everyone else was trying to survive.

Chris (Mrs) walked barefoot and topless until some random stranger gave her a top, hitchhiked and walked to her home, phones were down, no one could come to help her as noone knew what had happened. When she got home her house was totalled, her car in a hole in the ground, she turned around and hitchhiked and got a taxi to her parents place in Burnside, still covered in dust, sewarage, blood and smoke. There she found her 2 year old son fitting with an extreme temperature. He has been to doctor and it's a virus.

Our friend has lost everything, her husband, her house, her car (and his - it's in a carparking building in central city).

This is just one story to come out of yesterday's quake, it's an extremely tragic one. I have another friend who's good friend is in the CTV building which is currently a pile of burning rubble....
Hug your loved ones. Money, possessions, arguments, it's all crap - it means nothing.

Our house is fine, our possessions fine, kids fine - we are the lucky ones

27 comments:

Sue said...

So very sad. My thoughts are with you, but nothing can really help the pain.

Ute said...

Oh God, reading something like that which comes 1st hand really brings it home to you.

I am so sorry for your and your sisters loss...

Glad that you are Ok Jules. Take care. Much love and thoughts for you all over there.

xoxoxox

Anne said...

Very sad and also seems unreal. So sorry that you know someone affected by the earthquake. As you said it's just one story, there are very sadly going to be lots more.

Janene said...

My heart is breaking for everyone in the area and those with friends and relatives there. From the safety of my home in Auckland, and no personal connections (that I can think of) in Christchurch I still feel an emotional wreck. The pictures on TV and the stories on talkback are breaking my heart and I am constantly on the verge of tears... I can't begin to imagine how it is for those at the coalface.
Take care of yourselves, give and accept all the love and hugs you can!!

AlleyCat said...

What Ute said. My heart aches for you all. ((((hugs))))

Tracy said...

I have tears streaming down my face reading that, what a devastating time. I hope her wee boy is OK.

I am glad you and your family are fine, it must have been terrifying not having them with you when it happened.

LaLa said...

Julesie, what a devestating event. My thoughts are with you, yours and all of NZ. xx

Cheryl said...

Just heartbreaking. I am so sorry for you friend. Glad you and yours are safe and well :( x

Anonymous said...

Holy shit - wish I hadn't read that while at work... now people are wondering why my eyes have filled with tears. I remember reading about the Mr Chris going home (can't remember how = must've linked through someone's blog)... that is the saddest story ever.

We are waiting to hear from a friend of ours - works for the Council down there - and on a happy note, he is USELESS at having his mobile with him - but I have messaged, emailed etc. and pray they are okay....

Sure puts things in perspective. Makes me want to go and hug my daugther ASAP. Makes you feel so petty worrying about the tiny things in life. At least we have our families intact.

THanks for sharing that - even though I now have to excuse myself and head off (head down) to the bathroom and pull myself together.

Much love your way.

Kate Rogers (kittie444@hotmail.com)

Anonymous said...

From a former chch resident, now living in Melbourne, I am heartbroken and sick about what is happening back home. It's all just shit and the city and it's people do not deserve this. I can't understand how it is my city on the news.

Marijke

Cinders said...

very very sad news Jules.

Lynda said...

Shit. That is terrible. Thanks for sharing because it is not until we hear a personal story do we fully realise the enormity of what has happened. I truly can't even imagine this happening to me or my loved ones.

Sweet Cheeks said...

I'm so sorry. That story is truly horrific. My love and prayers to all those affected by this devestating tragedy.
=[
xoxoxo

Jayne said...

We see the devastation on TV & think 'how awful'...........then we read your blog Jules & the tragedy of the whole situation is brought home ten times worse than what we see on TV. My heart goes out to Chris & I wish her much love & strength for the coming days, weeks & months.

kathrynoh said...

OMG, I don't even know what to say to that. It's so overwhelmingly awful.

Kate said...

There are no words... You can't help but wonder why though :(
so horribly hideous :(
My love and thoughts are with you, your friend and her lil one. So sad :(

Memphis Steve said...

That is the most tragic thing I believe I have ever read. I can't even imagine what it would be like to go through all of that. I don't think I could even do it. What a terrible thing.

Spiky Zora Jones said...

that is so very sad.
*sigh* I...don't know what to say.

K said...

My god. There are no words :(
Hideous.

I'm glad that you and your precious family are among the lucky ones. Thinking of you.
xxxx

Chris H said...

That has got to be one of the most gut wrenching stories to come out of this tragedy.
I hope that your friend has lots of family and friends around her to help her cope with this.
Glad you and yours are safe.

Memphis Steve said...

Would you be willing to accept a tag for a VLog? It's kind of fun to do and might take your mind off things for a bit.

Cazzie!!! said...

Bloody Hell, I feel immense pain reading this.. and I know I am bloody lucky to have a healthy family and a house and everything. Whatever we can do to help your friend in time, please let us know through your blog. Anything I mean it Jules...

Anonymous said...

Glad you and your family are safe and well. My heart goes out to your friend Chris.
Kym

Jayne said...

God, that is so sad and gut wrenching.
(((hugs))) and best wishes for your friends and family at this horrific time xxxx

frigginloon said...

Simply terrible. No words. Thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by this tragedy.
As I watched the events unfold on TV, I was amazed at the power of human spirit. None more so than Ahsei Sopoaga. It was only a small film clip of him but it has been etched in my brain for days.
The guy was lifting enormous slabs of concrete off a car to try and rescue two strangers. Pure adrenaline. His story is here...
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10709041
If anything can be taken from this tragedy, it is New Zealand's enduring spirit and people's random acts of kindness.

Jules said...

Thanks everyone :(

Middle Child said...

Oh Jules - makes you want to sob...I never ever have taken things for granted as our lives were always so tenuous with what don had and because of his illness we seemed to love more - for us thats how it was. This poor woman and the others - its just awful