Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Irony Of Living Life!

I am pretty sure I had a few years of my life shaved off last night. That, along with the handful of new grey hairs that sprouted on my head (which is a moot point since I pulled those handfuls of hair out) are courtesy of the New Zealand earthquake.

Of course, while I am always empathetic and worrisome over random natural disasters, this one had my panties in a bunch for a few hours because my worries were specific to one person in particular.

Yes, my brother picked a fine time to take a 6 week trip to New Zealand.

He left from Israel, weeks ago, via Hong Kong to Australia. Of course he was midair when I discovered that Cyclone Yasi was headed to Australia. That, of course was a concern only remedied when my brother D. finally contacted me a day later to tell me the Cyclone was in an area, away from him that is similar to the distance between Chicago and LA. Like I know Australia's layout and geographical lines.....

He also reassured his family and friends that we should not be concerned about Cyclones, Brush fires and sharks...

He saw his kangaroos and koalas and spent a week in Australia and then headed to new Zealand.

I have been following up on his whereabouts and earth-shattering touristy events for weeks as he posts pictures to his facebook account. No different than his siblings, each picture has to have a witty caption or an unusual pose. No one in my family can be straight forward about anything.

His arm cascaded over the shoulder of a kangaroo, his "Lady and the Tramp" pose, feeding a leaf to a Koala mouth to mouth, his carefully crafted pose as he lays face down in an open field with the caption "next time I should make sure there is a parachute" after a tandem jump from a plane are all expected examples of the lack of candor in my family.

He has been traveling to all corners of New Zealand, after starting in his "base camp" of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Before he left, in addition to his email address and facebook account which I already access, I was given a phone number of a phone equipped with an international sim card. He informed us that it would be pretty expensive if we were to call him on it and unless it's an emergency, we should text.


So I called, AND texted, AND facebooked, AND e-mailed....

We had not heard from him for a few days and did not know what he was doing from one moment to the next.

Had he returned to Christchurch or was he under water somewhere swimming with sharks?

I guess now that I know he is okay I can laugh at the absurdity. Was he in danger under rubble via the destructive earthquake, or was he slipping off a mountain ridge somewhere, at least enjoying himself.

It turned out to be the latter.

After hours of worry. After an eternity of concern over the fact that I was the only family member with all his contact info, causing me to spend hours trying all avenues to contact him while also calling back and forth between a sister in NJ and my parents as well as the US Consulate in Aukland and Chabad (Jewish organization) in Christchurch ...... I finally received an email from him. Actually I received 2 emails from him.

His first email wanted to know why I was asking if he was ok? He wanted to know if something happened that he was unaware of? He had been on a mountain in the Southern Alps for 3 days and just returned to his hostel.

His second email clearly implied that he was now aware why I was asking?
"oh... the earthquake? I did not even know about it. I was 8 hours away. But I am supposed to fly out of Christchurch on Friday..."


And of course, after my nerves were shot and the only way I could fix them was with some carefully spiked ice cream, we could begin to laugh (sort of), I do not want to forget those who were in fact in Christchurch.

He let us know of the irony ... Just as I suspected, the only other scenario included my brother, 1400 m up a mountain trying to pass a narrow ridge while 90 mile per hour winds and rain pelted him from both sides.

So we were worried he was buried beneath rubble or G-d forbid crushed under destruction and instead he was trying not to get blown off a narrow mountain ridge.

While I am grateful that he is well, and have requested of him that he spend the rest of his trip visiting museums and zoos (as if....) I still do have the citizens of Christchurch in my thoughts and prayers. I am saddened that there are those who did lose their lives in just a matter of minutes and those who are now wandering, aimlessly, dazed - I hope that they have the strength to get through this tragedy.

I hope my brother stays safe and returns to his home well, but I am happy that he is truly an example of someone who knows how to LIVE LIFE.

Because the irony is, just miles from where he is, in a place where he just was and intends to return to later this week, there are those who no longer can LIVE theirs.

1 have shown Orah a little love:

Anonymous said...

B"H!! My Bubby K. still calls him her boyfriend ;) Sorry you had to have all that worry..Aviva L.