Tuesday, March 2, 2010

!Viva La Chile!

How can one NOT know what has happened this last week in South America?

An 8.8 magnitute earthquake rocked the country of Chile and with it, rocked M-Cat's world for a little bit.
I've debated on whether or not to post anything, but decided that because this IS my journal, and a place to capture my feelings, I'm going for it.  However, I hope that any poor sucker who stumbles on this and reads it will understand my intent. 

I have never been to Chile.  I hope to one day, but for now, I have lived the last 2 years vicariously through my middle son Luka.  He served his LDS mission in the Chile, Osorno mission.  It is about 300 miles south of the city of Concepcion which is where the epicenter of the quake was.

If you have ever had a son or daughter serve a mission, you quickly fall in love with their assigned area.  Be it foreign or a neighboring state in the US.  You love the country, you love the people, you love the culture.  Every letter or email home, all you do is picture your child there.  Imagining the sights, the smells, the FEEL of their surroundings.  They become "your people".  The place itself becomes "yours".

The past two years have been that for me.  Every picture Luka sent home endeared the country to my heart that much more.  As he wrote of people he met, church members he taught, even strangers that he encountered on the street, I fell in love that much more.  Even the drunk who tried to kill him, has a place in my heart if you can imagine.

His mamita's that took such good care of him, are especially dear to my soul.  They fed him, washed his clothes, and loved him.  One of the dear sister members even friended me on FB and in Spanish told me how much she loved my son.  She had adopted him as her own.  These wonderful people of Chile looked after my son when I wasn't there to.  They made his birthday's special, welcomed him for Christmas, and served as his "family" while he was away from us.  There will never be words for me to express how much I love the Chileans who filled an important place in my son's life for 2 years.

So when I came home from the gym Saturday to Splenda's distressed face with the news.  I immediately thought of all the beautiful brown eyes I had seen in pictures and video, the names I learned, the voices I heard on tape.  Were they safe?  How far away was the quake?  Is there massive death?  WHERE THE HELL IS LUKA RIGHT NOW??

He had spent the night with a BFF and hadn't gotten word.  Once I had processed the reality that Luka was indeed stateside, safe and only a few miles away, my thoughts went to his companions still remaining in Chile.  Were all the other missionaries safe? 

My worries were interrupted by Splenda reminding me that our good friends, the L's son was currently serving in Concepcion.  CRAP!!!!

I quickly texted, called her and got the news that they were still awaiting news.  They knew their son was alive, but beyond that, nothing.  My heart was h.e.a.v.y.  I placed myself in her shoes.  Early in Luka's mission there was a volcano eruption a hundred miles or so from his area.  And while logically, you run through the odds of something actually being wrong, the mother side of you has them in dire peril crying for you.  Was he really okay?  Was he scared?  Did he want to call home?  I know, those are terrible thoughts, but I have to think I am not the only Mom who does this.

I promised to pray and stay in contact with LL and continued to watch the news.  I could not tear myself away for very long.  And when I did go about my Saturday business and activities, Chile and "our people" were still on my mind.

We finally got a hold of Luka and shared the news.  I think he was in shock.  He hasn't spent a great deal of time talking about it, but then again, he's not that type.  He has finally gotten word on several people he was concerned with in Osorno, and the surrounding area, and word is everyone is okay.  He has watched the videos of the quake and it's resulting damage on the internet, and beyond expressing some disbelief, he has left it at that.  Again, not much of the "let's talk it through" kid, but more of the "leave me be, I'll process this just fine" kid.  I love his cool head and rock solid temperment.

I watched this slide show today.  Again, my heart hurts for my Chilean friends.  It's starting into fall and their winter season.  It will soon get cold, and many of the people are without shelter.  As of today, supplies are scarce and there is civil unrest.  Looting is rampant in Concepcion.  People are in danger now because of violence erupting.  I fear that the frustration and desperation that most certainly is being felt will overwhlem them.

While the epicenter was not directly in Luka's area, all of Chile is dear to me.  I worry about his friends, the other missionaries serving, especially the L's son.  I worry about  Luka's friends.  I worry about perfect strangers who happen to be Chilean.  My thoughts and prayers go out to them.  I hope that their suffering is alleviated soon.  I hope that they can begin the process of rebuilding.  I hope that those who are far from home there will return safely.  I hope that somehow in their time of distress, they can know that some lady from UT loves them and is praying for them.

Viva La Chile!

Forever yours,


DeNae said...

I think you're joined in those prayers by moms from all over the world. While my son was serving in South Korea, Kim Jong-Il, the North Korean sociopath, revealed that he had nuclear capabilities. As you can imagine, I was a leeeetle concerned about my son serving just a few hundred miles south of this maniac.

We have one boy from our ward in Chile; four from our stake. Having lived in Puerto Rico for so long, we developed friendships with people from all over South America, including Chileans.

The death toll seems low; I'm fairly confident your son's friends and dear ones will be fine. But we can certainly step up our humanitarian contributions, because you're right: Winter in those Andes is cold, cold, cold.

Martha H. said...

I totally thought of you and Luka when I heard the news. I'm so glad he's home and safe and sound, but sad for all the people dealing with this catastrophe.


I havwe a great friend who leaves in the morning for Chili, Concepcion mission. I have watched this new very closely and my heart breaks for these sweet people.

Momoirs on the Run said...

My cute friend. Thanks for expressing your thoughts so beautifully! We share the same love for Chile! Nothing tugs at a moms heart more then the safety of her children and the safety of those who take care of her children. It is times like this when you are helpless that you have to turn everything over to the Lord. I would have been on the first plane out had the airports not have been shut down. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Kody was blessed and protected. Now he has his work cut out to comfort and help those who were not as fortunate. Sometimes your mission can change overnight. My prayers will continue to go out to the beautiful people of Chile and to the Jammett family who has taken Kody in as one of their own. Love ya M-Cat!! "LL"

Cherie said...

I am so glad that all the missionaries are safe in Chile.
My heart definately goes out to the people who have lost loved ones.
It seems like the whole freakin' world is falling apart right now!
Chile = In our prayers!!

Just ME the MOM said...

My heart goes out to the people of Chile also. We have a nephew further north serving in the Antafagasto mission. Very glad the missionaries are all safe and sound. So glad we can send our humanitarian aid their direction through the church - I love that they are so prepared to render aid.


tammy said...

As soon as I heard I immediately thought of you guys and was so glad that Luka was home. Like Kristin, I'm glad that the church has a system in place of getting aid to people. We're putting together kits this weekend in fact in our stake. I know all these "signs" are supposed to happen, but it's so sad to watch. And those feelings you described as a mom, I am right there with you.

Uptown Girl said...

Viva la Chile! So sad, so scary- my prayers go out to all the Chilean people. Thank God your son is safely home.

Omgirl said...

Oh good, I'm glad to know his friends are all OK.

kado! said...

you and your family were the very 1st people I thought of as I was watching the news on Saturday...