Monday, December 26, 2011

Thankful Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone. I hope you had an awesome day yesterday.

I am thankful that the ground was able to keep reasonably quiet yesterday. To have more significant earthquakes on Friday 23rd was unexpected. It was a setback that Christchurch didn't need so close to Christmas. Briana spent the entire afternoon under the table and almost screaming with each subsequent shock. During the 6.0 at 3.19pm I could hear glass smashing. Matt was in the shower - I had told him to be quick but he had only been in the shower two minutes and it ended up being a shaky one!

I am thankful that we didn't lose power or water and I decided to cook dinner and the Christmas Lamb early "just in case".

My heart went out to those in the Eastern Suburbs who had lost power and were yet again facing cleaning up the sand and water in their streets due to liquefaction. Again the resilient residents of Christchurch went out with their shovels and started the clean up. I think we are all wondering if this is ever going to end.

I am thankful that no-one died in this latest round of seismic activity. I hope any injuries are healing quickly. Even as I write this on Boxing Day I am interrupted by the ground moving. We had disruption last year on Boxing Day that changed a relaxing "chill out day" into one of anxiety. I hope that Christchurch people were able to enjoy Christmas regardless of what was going on around them.

I am thankful that we were able to enjoy Christmas Day in our own home this year with our family around us. The children had a wonderful day. Father Christmas answered specific requests and Josh seemed happy with the kitten toy and not disappointed that it wasn't a real one (phew). Briana was able to relax and seemed to not notice the small ripples moving through the house throughout the day. The older Children appeared to be really content with their gifts and the feeling of the contentment in the house was obvious.

I am thankful that Glenn and I both have employment and that Christmas wasn't a financial burden. I was privileged to be involved this last week with Rebuild Christchurch Foundation's Project Christmas. During the week we shopped, packed and delivered Christmas Boxes full of food and presents to people facing financial hardship due to the quakes. I met some amazing people for whom the earthquakes have had significant impact. People who have lost jobs, their homes, one person who lost a limb in the February quake and one amazing family who lost a family member on February 22nd.

This family had a significant impact on me. I thought when I delivered their gift that there might be tears but I didn't realise that they would be my own. You can see on their faces that life has been especially hard. As well as losing their loved family member, there have also been huge health issues to overcome the last 15 months -as well as dealing with the continuing earthquakes and repairing damage to their home. I had to pull over out on the street afterwards to have a big cry. It brought home to me how it could have been our family facing our first Christmas without a member of our own.

I am thankful that my niece Holly was able to fly down to Christchurch to be with us all for Christmas. This is what happened to the building she was in when the 6.3 earthquake struck on February 22nd.

How did she survive? A miracle perhaps? Two heroes rushed over to pull her out of the basement, that somehow opened up to give her a small amount of room to fall into, with the rubble from above. Holly rang her Father, my brother Simon, after being pulled out to say she was okay and could he come and pick her up. Not realising the damage in town, Simon told her to secure the building and he was on his way. Holly turned to look at the pile of rubble above and said to Simon that she couldn't secure it any more than it already was! Our own little miracle! And I am thankful everyday! My thoughts and prayers have been with the families of 181 who died and those who were injured on that day over this Christmas time.

I am thankful that I have the chance to be able to give something back to our city through Affordable Sections and Rebuild Christchurch. I have much to be thankful for and I'm looking forward to spending Boxing Day relaxing with my family.

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