We are all doing it this week here in Christchurch. It's impossible not to.
Not to think... this time last year.....
I was talking tonight with friends,
it seems like it was so long ago, but it seems like only yesterday
and we don't feel ready for it to be one year.
This picture is of the Christchurch Cathedral bells which fell down on February 22.
On Wednesday 22 February I am going to take Chrissy back to Latimer Square
the first time for her since last February 22.
There is a memorial service there, we want to be there.
I want to put my arms around her there and hold her tight, yes I do.
Today I was just really busy, organising Reuben's birthday party
and then running it. Keeping busy seemed to work well for today.
This is the summit road around Christchurch's Port Hills.
It was a proper road, now it's just a track amongst the fallen rock.
It's illegal to go up there, way too dangerous.
Probably it it will never re-opened.
David and his fellow cyclists miss their Long Bay's Ride.
I asked permission from Moira Becker to use these photos. (This is Poplar Lane)
They are sobering and raw. They are Christchurch.
Some times you can kid yourself that everything is fine now
and then you hear on the news that only half of the CBD demolition has been completed
(the residential demolition has barely begun)
or you drive around a corner and see buildings like this
or a bare section where a building used to be.
On Wednesday I want to hold my kiddies close
I want to be with them and have them with me while we stand for two minutes in silence
and remember the dead, the injured and just the trauma of it all.
I will remember standing on the footpath outside my neighbour's house
late on the afternoon of the 22 February last year,
I'll remember holding David, Chrissy, James and Jo
and all of us crying our eyes out.
I'll remember driving shakily all the way to Invercargill,
hoping to find a place to shelter and be safe.
Here's an aerial picture of the cbd. Now imagine that only half of the demolition has been completed.
You can talk to anyone you like in Christchurch,
we have shared experiences, we have all been through it, no one missed out.
We have all gone to toilet in our gardens
we have queued up for clean water for months and months
We all keep our phones charged and our petrol tanks at least half full.
We have been alert through 1000s of aftershocks.
We all have emergency kits well stocked.
We tell each other when we are going somewhere.
I keep thinking about myself this time last year.
We were having a bit of a grim time with Mr 15 to be honest,
we were up to our eyeballs in it.
Little did we know it was about to be the least of our problems
that the boy who was in so much trouble,
would stand by his dad on the footpath,
and say, "I won't leave town without my dad, I'll stay here and help him"
I knew there was good in the boy at that point,
and in spite of everything, my heart did a leap of joy.
Nothing like a life time of trauma on one day,
to make a man out of a boy.
Yes looking back.....
Gosh it's tough, really really tough.