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Thursday, March 17, 2011

devastation.

i can't believe what is happening in japan.  i try not to look.  i try not to feel.  i try to just...

it's overwhelming.  the pain.  the fear.  could you do it?  could you be one of those 50 workers facing imminent death.  i just don't think i could.  but how could i not?  of course i could.  

i think.

i have family there.  a lot of it.  some that i have known intimately, others that i only know by reference.  but all of my Japanese ancestors are there and i worry about their graves.  i worry because it is such a big deal to take care of those graves.  

i currently have no relationship with my father.  after his antics a year and a half ago, i still can't bring myself to reach out to him.  even during this most horrible time.  if it's this bad for me, what's it like for him?

in 2005 my father took my siblings on a trip to japan.  i was at home with two small children, unable to commit to taking them to a land requiring me to flip their entire inner-clock by 12 hours for ten days.  i just couldn't do it.  my husband was at the point in his life where work was first and trips to japan just didn't fit into his mindset.  it was unfortunate and i only have myself to blame for not going on my own without my man or my small kids.  but i just couldn't do it.  to this very day i regret that decision.

*****

i didn't realize i looked asian until high school.  {i swear.}  i thought i was white.  i was technically half white, and i just thought i looked white.  and then i turned 15 and moved to a small town in connecticut where the first thing i remember being asked when i moved there was, "how do you feel about being the only asian in school?"  i thought... is it that obvious?

i was different and people knew it.  for the first time, i knew it too.

i hated being asian.  in fact, i resented it.  i resented my heritage and denied it in my heart.  it made me different and i was all of the sudden uncomfortable in my own skin.  and it was obvious.  it makes me so sad to think about it - i didn't have a soul i felt i could talk to about it. 

flash forward to september 11, 1999... my beautiful niece, Teagan, was born to my older sister, Naomi.  I met my brother out in California for a week that October.  There is one thing i remember the most from that trip -- it was how much i loved that baby regardless of  what she looked like.  her amazing asian eyes, or her head full of dark, rich hair.  i loved that baby.  LOVED that baby.  i sat there one night alone, watching her in her swing.  she was a mere 7 weeks old.  i couldn't breathe enough of her into my  heart.  i was in total awe and in total love.  and suddenly, i became so ashamed of myself.  if i hated myself for being Japanese, that would mean i would hate this child for being Japanese - but i LOVED this child... how could i love this little asian peanut so much without also loving myself? 

from that moment, i loved myself just a little more.  it was then that i chose to embrace who i was.

flash forward to now... march 17, 2011.  my family in japan is suffering while i sit here and drink my chai tea.  what can i do to help?  how can i do my part?

i started here.  for the next 17 hours and some odd minutes LivingSocial is offering to match your $5 donation.  and they'll continue matching up until $1,000,000.  YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT!  They are currently at $594,190.  

you can also donate straight through the American Red Cross.  Your gift to the American Red Cross will support their disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters.

or if you're as rich and generous as others,  please feel free to send your donation to wherever rich and generous people like yourself usually send those large donations.

or if you're really into texting, you can text any of the following numbers:
• The American Red Cross: Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10.

• Convoy for Hope: Text TSUNAMI to 50555 to give $10.

• GlobalGiving: Text JAPAN to 50555 to give $10.

if you're interested in seeing some pictures of my family, check out my sister's blog here

i will continue to pray for my people in japan.  for their continued bravery, for their continued healing, for their strength and perseverance.  if there was ever a country that could pull together, it is japan.  they are awesome people.  please help if you can.  even if it's simply saying a prayer for them. i sure would appreciate it.

***Three minutes after posting, Living Social is already up to $605,480!!

****My calculations put Living Social at raising about $80/second.  PER SECOND!!

1 comment:

  1. kismic, sister. you're awesome and you know it!

    ReplyDelete