It is Monday and I’m still reeling from the pictures and information I’ve received regarding the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan--the voices urging people to help, the worried lines marring brows, the vacant states of people still in shock at the devastation.

As a writer, I always try to write emotion that is true and touching. Looking at the recent faces of tragedy shown on television and captured in pictures in the newspapers, I’m not sure my words would be enough. One picture, in particular, caught my attention. A grandmother was hugging her granddaughter, weeping in relief and gratefulness. I have two granddaughters of my own and felt those emotions with her. There were many other faces caught in a touching moment.

My heart goes out to the people of Japan and those people from around the world who live and work there. As many of you writers know, Alesia Holliday is in Japan and is, thankfully, all right. Pam, is your daughter affected by this? So many people, such fright, so many tears.

Disasters like this remind me that we are, indeed, a community of nations --one world—and the faces of tragedy belong to us all.

Have you ever been caught in a disaster?


  1. Kristen Painter // March 14, 2011 at 10:44 AM  

    We had a tree come through our house due to a hurricane when we lived in Virginia. We spent a week with no water or electricity. Scary. Without the help of my dad, mom and brother, who drove several hours to bring us water, generators and then patched up the worst of the damage (family of builders), I'm not sure what we would have done. So many people needed help that very few were actually getting any.

  2. Beth Trissel // March 14, 2011 at 10:44 AM  

    Good post, Judy. My heart goes out to all those poor people in Japan too. The only way I know to cope in times of trouble is with hope, faith, love, humor and help from family and friends. I am blessed to live in a tight knit, supportive country community.

  3. JoMarie DeGioia // March 14, 2011 at 10:55 AM  

    I know I've been very lucky in my life. I've been brushed by disaster once or twice but never truly impacted. Even in the ridiculous string of hurricanes when we first moved back to Florida in 2004, aside from some lost shingled and no power for a couple of days, we got through unscathed. I thank God every day for everything granted to me and mine, and pray for those so horribly impacted by the week's tragedies.

  4. Tamara LeBlanc // March 14, 2011 at 11:02 AM  

    I've never been in a disaster. I thank God for that.
    I've had a wonderful life so far, and I'm truly blessed.
    I can't imagine the heart-ache, pain, or terror the people of Japan are feeling.
    Thank you for reminding us of our good fortune, and of the suffering of others. They need our prayers and our help.
    Have a nice day.

  5. Roxanne St. Claire // March 14, 2011 at 11:10 AM  

    Oh, Judy, you're so right about taking the time to think about the individuals whose lives are forever changed by this tragedy. I've seen some video footage that just brought me to tears.

    I lost my home and everything in it to Hurricane Andrew when we lived in Miami. Fortunately, we'd evacuated (almost didn't!!)...but I've never looked at natural disasters the same since that. It's just "stuff" - the only thing that matters is that you stay alive. Sadly, with this tsunami, they had almost no warning. It's heart-wrenching.

  6. Barbara Monajem // March 14, 2011 at 12:07 PM  

    The closest I've been to experiencing a disaster was Hurricane Katrina. I was visiting in a small town north of New Orleans, which suffered enough damage to put the power out for several days, some downed trees, etc. There was a huge influx of people from New Orleans, and the population there doubled in only a few days. We heard some hair-raising stories from people we met in the supermarkets. Some friends in a nearby town were trapped on the roof of their house because of the flood.

  7. Joanne // March 14, 2011 at 2:09 PM  

    Thankfully, I have never been caught in a disaster. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan. My adopted daughter is from S. Korea.

  8. Judy // March 14, 2011 at 2:34 PM  

    Love it, Kristin, that your family came through for you! It's amazing what people go through to help one another in a crisis! :)

  9. Judy // March 14, 2011 at 2:36 PM  

    JoMarie, so glad you've been able to avoid disasters... And Tamara, too! Beth, so lucky you live in a tight community like that!

  10. Judy // March 14, 2011 at 2:38 PM  

    Rocki, I had heard your family had suffered in a hurricane. So many little things are lost, along with the big things. Some irreplaceable. But we're so glad you decided to relocate in the Space Coast area!! Turned out to be lucky for us!! :)

  11. Judy // March 14, 2011 at 2:40 PM  

    Barbara, you must have been so scared. I'm glad you didn't end up on a roof! It doesn't sound as bad as it really is. My husband and I were talking about a Tsunami in Florida. If one hit, the only place we could go would be to our roof!!

  12. Judy // March 14, 2011 at 2:40 PM  

    Joanne, glad you haven't experience a disaster. Yes, I've seen pictures of your very beautiful daughter!!

  13. Nightingale // March 14, 2011 at 3:18 PM  

    We suffered through Ike in Houston but nothing like this tragedy.

  14. Anonymous // March 14, 2011 at 4:17 PM  

    I feel we are so blessed here in America and Georgia especially. We take care of our own and then reach out to others that need our help. The people of Japan will need our prayers and our help, fortunately, we are willing to send both their way.


  15. Judy // March 14, 2011 at 4:39 PM  

    Glad you were all right, Linda!

  16. Judy // March 14, 2011 at 4:40 PM  

    Hi, Scarlett, Yes, I found the people of Georgia to be very giving and generous in spirit. And when things get tough, I think most people do reach out a helping hand!

  17. Pamela Varnado // March 14, 2011 at 4:49 PM  

    Judy, a friend called me the night the earthquake hit. I tried to call my daughter but the phone lines were down. I got nothing but static and was on pins and needles until Christina called me the next morning. On Okinawa, the damage wasn't too bad. The boys are with me because she's deploying to the Philippines. My prayers are with everyone dealing with the tragedy. I can't even look at the pictures on the website. I cry.

  18. Anonymous // March 14, 2011 at 7:02 PM  

    I lived through three hurricanes in one year. I count myself lucky!

  19. Cat Herder // March 14, 2011 at 7:42 PM  

    Days later and I am still struck by the devastation in Japan. Half the population of an entire town swept away. And the faces of the children wrench my heart - how frightening this must be for them. I feel amazingly blessed and almost guilty that I have never suffered major losses from a natural disaster. I pray the nuclear power plant does not have a melt down - that poor country has had enough tragedy already.

  20. Mary Marvella // March 14, 2011 at 8:39 PM  

    Judy, I count myself lucky! I have not lived through a real disaster. The closest I came was hearing later that a Tornado his near where I was.

    Pam, I thought Tina was already away from Japan!

  21. Mona Risk // March 14, 2011 at 10:34 PM  

    My heart goes to the people in Japan living such a tragedy. I experienced Hurricane Wilma and will never forget the first few hours when our 30-stories building shook, when the windows and shutters flew away, when cars landed on each others. And then the week without electricity, water, telephone,...

  22. Judy // March 15, 2011 at 8:47 AM  

    Oh, Pam! I'm so glad your daughter is fine and, like you, I'm brought to tears when I see the damage. Now there is even more evidence of destruction and despair with the nuclear situation.

  23. Judy // March 15, 2011 at 8:50 AM  

    Mary and CatHerder and Anonymous... So, so glad you didn't have to go through any disasters! I think it must be something you never get over!

  24. Judy // March 15, 2011 at 8:50 AM  

    Mona, I know of someone who was caught in an apartment building for a hurricane. They said it was simply awful when the wind howled through the windows and the whole building!