Jen's MEM Journey

One Day at a Time
by Jennifer Weiss -- March 22nd, 2011

Mother nature is unpredictable. In a blink of the eye, lives can change. Rebuilding lives takes longer.

I am a Katrina survivor.  No, not in the “water up to my rooftop, I was rescued by a boat” sense of a survivor because my family was able to evacuate to Texas and missed the hurricane’s wrath.   But my house was unlivable and we relocated to Raleigh within 6 weeks of the disaster with our two young daughters, a dog, a cat and whatever we had managed to fit in the back of our SUV.   We love it here and are all thriving in the Carolina sun – a happy ending.

This, of course, is the shortened story.  It wasn’t that easy and it certainly wasn’t much fun, but with the help of family, friends and a host of people I have never met, my family was provided with clothes, toys and even a place to stay.  We were lucky and we know it.   It has been five years and I still remember the names of every person who sent prayers of hope our way.  There is no way to tell them how much their emails, phone calls and letters meant and no way to repay them for their kindness.  But as each day dawned, the feelings of loss subsided and our new life began to take hold.  One day at a time.

It is with a very saddened heart that I watch the Japanese tsunami disaster unfold. While my experience pales in comparison and I cannot begin to fully comprehend the grief and devastation that the Japanese community is experiencing right now, I can empathize with their feelings of loss, depression and isolation.  I can grieve with them as they search for loved ones, for lost memories, for a sense of what will happen to them next.  The hardest part is the helpless feeling of being alone.

But they are not alone.  We can support them.  With our emails, our prayers, our donations.  We will be the nameless people that will help them through this disastrous and disruptive part of their lives and give them hope.  And, they will get through it.  Economic and environmental issues aside, the Japanese people will survive.

Take time to grieve, take time to remember and then move forward and rebuild – one day at a time …

1 Comment

  1. Christy Velasquez
    Mar 23, 2011


    The way you ended up in Raleigh is about the hardest imaginable, but I cannot imagine our school without your great family and special girls. You have done so many great things since coming here and I know the stories of the survivors in Japan will be inspiring as well.

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