Write It Out

I haven’t been blogging lately because each time I sit down to do it the only things I think to talk about are tragic. I’m going to give in and just talk about them. The images are horrific and humbling. Petrifying and poignant. They’ve been tweeted and facebooked about all week and I still haven’t been able to purge the sorrow from my system.

What’s that writing advice? “Write it out.” So that’s what I’m gonna do, I’m just going to get it all out on paper and share it with the world and then maybe my blogging can move onward. 

Some of you are aware that my son’s band had a trip scheduled to Japan. They were supposed to go this coming Wednesday, for a week.  If the earthquake had happened two weeks later…well, I can’t even imagine what I’d have done.  We’ve been involved in this exchange program for four years. Our oldest daughter has gone over twice and we’ve hosted students from the Japanese band twice. So we’ve gotten to know many of the young adults.  Their town, Matsudo, is located outside of Tokyo. Though their city didn’t receive damage from the quake, it is being impacted regardless. Rolling black outs, gas shortages causing 4-5 hour lines at stations, the neighboring town didn’t have running water. And of course now they are told to stay inside because of the radiation. These are young adults with hopes and dreams and focus and determination. They have families and schedules and needs and all of that is tossed aside like it isn’t even a consideration. For a culture of discipline and structure, this continual havoc has got to be wearing heavily on their psyche. A couple days of disruption, we all could deal with, but this isn’t going to end soon. This country will be faced with rebuilding for a long, long time. And they really don’t even get to start because of the threat of radiation. I did see that they started construction in a couple northern towns today on temporary housing. I’m very glad to hear that. I think it is the first rebuilding report I’ve seen. Admittedly I’m trying to stay away from news. Regardless, what I’ve learned is that the earthquake and tsunami have a far-reaching impact on the country, not only on the areas they struck.

That said, there is another story that is haunting me. This one is from right here in my own town. It is a heartbreaking story. March 9th, 72 year old Sandra Meyer disappeared.  She never made it to the book club meeting she was supposed to attend. She never made it home that night. Her car was found parked in the parking lot of a shopping center the next day. No signs of foul play. My son and his friends watched the police boats driving up and down the river when they were at Red Robin. Every store, restaurant, library, gas station I go to has a flyer hung up. Everywhere. Her friends and family have even attended several church services to plea for information. The police brought in a bloodhound. Nothing. Then just over a week after she disappeared, her husband was found dead of a gunshot wound in their home. I know where most people will go with that information. I’m trying not to guess or judge. I didn’t know them but they seem like the kind of people I really would have loved to know. As I said, I’ve been trying to avoid the news, but today I was driving up the parkway and a billboard had been erected.  The cherry picker was still there. They’d just finished erecting her image and the phone number. My heart wrenched in my chest. The husband is dead, but the family is still desperate to find her, of course. How tragic! I hope to never truly understand the depth of sorrow they must be experiencing. I’m desperately trying to have hopeful thoughts. I’m praying it isn’t as bad as it looks. The family…the poor, poor family.

As so often is the case, when I feel hopeless, I write it out. I didn’t want to write these two out. They are too big. They hurt too much. There is still so much left unsaid. But I simply couldn’t avoid it. I’m going to link to a website put together by Sandra Meyer’s family, here. She is so loved and I so very much want her to be brought home.

I love life and I’m not walking around lamenting or sorrowful. However, though dreadful and dire, these situations deserve the respect of acknowledgement and the balm of cure that the shared word can create.

Please keep these situations in your hopes, your prayers, your thoughts. Wherever it is that you tuck things away that need to heal and restore.


  1. I know we don’t know each other well, but I do love you, Aunt Paula. It would be devastation for William to have gone through what the Japanese are going through, but that doesn’t lessen the devastation Japanese families ARE going through, as you said. I’ve heard so many people in high spirits that America won’t be hit with radiation, but I never heard them sorrowful for those who are being impacted by the earthquake and radiation. This makes me sad.

    Hearing the news of Sandra Meyer sickens me. I visited the website her family put together. I don’t know the words to describe this situation. I can only hope that she returns safely, and that no one else is hurt if something is going on behind closed doors.

    My advice: if you’re lying in bed and begin to feel discouraged and sad about what’s going on, turn to Uncle Glen and ask him to hold you. I know that I’ve had a very difficult time the last several months, but when someone loves you so much and keeps you safe, this is when I feel that life isn’t horrible, people are sometimes horrible, and that the person holding me is not one of them. Life seems to brighten.

  2. Thanks Anon.

    Jen, your comment brought tears to my eyes. I'm so blessed to be part of such an amazing, loving family. Thank you - especially that last paragraph. Beautiful words and true thoughts.


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