I’m Back!

I know it’s been ages since my last post – 7 months!! I can hardly believe it, but then again, writing isn’t one of my strong points. I’ll try to make more of an effort in the future.

Let’s see… I’m trying to think about all that has happened during these past 7 months. Well, for sure the most memorable thing that has happened that I can think of right now is the big earthquake/tsunami disaster that we experienced here in Japan 2 months ago.

I’ve lived in Japan on and off for about 7 years or so and I’ve NEVER experienced what I did that day. I don’t live close to where the epicenter of the quake was, I live on the other side of Tokyo, but boy did we shake. Mostly though, was the strange eerie feeling that followed the quake.

I was taking a rest with my two youngest (my oldest four were still in school) when I started to feel the shaking, then it just got stronger and stronger. I could tell that it wasn’t your usual shaking but something more serious. I woke my two kids and we ran outside… we could see the trees swaying and the ground beneath our feet was moving, it was crazy. I’m sure others in Japan have felt earthquakes like that, but I hadn’t…. anyway, we stood outside waiting for it to stop. My kids’ school is right next to our house and the pool is on the top of the building, we could hear the swooshing of the water up there. I prayed desperately that all would be okay.

My phone connection didn’t work neither did my internet so I was without any communication or way to find out what exactly happened or even if my husband who was working in Tokyo was okay. One of my neighbors came asking if I knew that I had to go pick up my kids from school since there was an emergency… another neighbor came letting me know that my husband had called to say he was okay (she had FB and her phone connected). Boy was I was glad to hear that.

It wasn’t until 10:30 pm that night that I finally got my internet back and was able to talk with my husband. He was stuck in Tokyo for the night and said he’d try his best to come back the next morning. I never prayed so hard that no other quakes would come.

We did have lots of aftershocks especially during the next month, but none as serious. It came to the point where it was basically a part of life, shaking here, shaking there… One thing I’m thankful for is that we were able to stock up and learn what we need to have on hand in case of emergencies. The kids also have been having regular drills in school to know what to do when there’s an emergency.

I’d like to end here with a word about Japanese people. I always liked the Japanese and how polite and thoughtful they are of those around them, but it became all the more apparent after the earthquake. People took everything in stride, calmly, reverently. No complaining. No confusion. No fuss. I have fallen in love with Japan and the Japanese people all over again. I’m convinced that I’m in the best place in the world and I know everyone will handle the problems that have come up as a result of the disaster as best as possible.

I love you Japan and I’m proud to be living among you!

The Worst is Over!

I’m lying here in my hospital bed and typing with one hand and an extra finger. Yesterday I finally had that thumb operation I wrote about previously.

Boy oh boy! Am I glad that’s over! That was not the easiest experience to go through and I just couldn’t believe I could go through so much pain for such a relatively small thing.

One thing though is that although it was hell to go through, (and I venture to say even harder than having 6 c-sections) I hung on to the words my husband spoke “the body has an amazing way to forget all the pain” … and it’s true!

If I think back, after each one of those c-sections I had I said “never again!” … but I did end up having 6. I thank God that we forget the bad and hold on to the good stuff in life.

TG for the good!

My Thumb

I went to another doctor yesterday to get my thumb checked out and they confirmed the need for a surgery. Wow! I never thought that I would need surgery.

The doctor told me that I’d have to stay for 3 days in the hospital and that after surgery I might need a cast and maybe even rehab… not only that, he said it’ll take a year to get my feeling back to normal and for the pain to go away completely!

I tell you one thing, I’ll never take my thumb for granted. Having to do all the house chores, cooking, cleaning, laundry, dishes, washing the kids, doing the girl’s hair, etc… without the use of my left thumb has been quite set-back and makes things take twice as long.

Never take the little things for granted, I know I won’t!

A Small Update as of Now

Ken’s been gone for almost 10 days now. He left on the 27th of September. It’s hard when he’s away. I just miss having him by my side and someone to talk with. He calls me almost everyday, but it’s just not the same as having him right there in person.

The day after he left I was trying to cut the cap off a glass bottle before throwing it in the recycle bin, and the knife slipped and stabbed my left thumb at the base. Yes, I was a mess and had to stop the bleeding quick. I didn’t know what to do. I ran to my next door neighbor to ask him to help me bandage it up, he was so sweet and thoughtful in trying to help me.

I thought it would just heal with a matter of time, but a couple of days later I noticed that the cut was healing just fine, but one side of my thumb was numb and if moved a certain way would send excruciating pain up my arm. I knew this was not normal, so I’m going to go get it checked out to see if I severed something or caused some damage that needs fixing.

I have been having a hard time doing my housework and chores without using my thumb. Dished, laundry, floors, bathing the kids, all this takes so much more time and most of all is extra difficult.
I never thought much about my thumbs and how much I use them in my day to day life. I just can’t wait to get it back to normal. I know I won’t ever take my thumb for granted again.

It’s when I have these kind of difficulties that I just wish I had someone right there to take care of me. Honey, come back soon… I need you!

Learning to Cope

My love has been taking trips away since we moved. Eight days after we moved in he left for a week seminar in the States. He works every day and comes back late at night, usually when the kids are fast asleep and sometimes even I’m asleep. He does manage to wake up most mornings to have breakfast us as a family before the kids are off to school. This is really different than what we were used to when he worked from home. We learn to value our times together more and know that they are special and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

My love will leave again soon for 10 days this time. That’s a long stretch without him. I don’t drive, I have to ride my bike with my two small kids (when the other 4 kids are in school) and  shop. I pray that the Lord keeps giving me the grace and the strength to keep going. It’s not easy being alone with 6 small children to look after,  I shouldn’t really say ‘alone’ since I have my 6 angels to keep me company.

There’s always so much to do and tend to, but I need to make sure to have my times away to renew my strength and spirit. Lord, give me the courage to keep going. Give me the love I need. Give me the patience and the grace to care for the kids. Be by my side as I make it through each day. I need You and can’t make it through my days without You! Thank you for being by my side each and every day… I love you!