Some more pics to look at.
The one below is the only pic of anything earthquake related. This photo was taken Boxing Day 1998 and shows my family playing with its new toys. Hubby seated, daughter kneeling and son playing peekaboo. I'm standing in the background. The photo was taken by my daughters former partner. Happy times ... happy until September 4 2010.
We had built this house in late 1995 and moved in on January 31 1996 but sold it in 2004. The September quake did extensive damage to the property in spite of it being built of brick. The brick construction may have kept out the big bad wolf but was no match for Mother Nature.
February 22 2011 caused damage so severe it has to be demolished.
I live about an hour from Christchurch and just a few hundred metres from the house in the photo. For those who think the destruction was confined to Christchurch, please be aware that many other areas were badly hit too.
The next group of pics are ones I took in Ireland in 1995. A truly beautiful part of the world. If you get the chance to visit, grab it with both hands.
Last Thursday (day before Good Friday) I decided to go shopping. That was my first mistake.
My second mistake was in going past the house I used to own. There is a family photo of it at the top of this page (More Pics). The reason it was a mistake to go past was that demolition of the house had taken place the day before.
In its place was a space where it used to be. It was as if the house never existed. I shed many tears. More were to follow.
I had almost completed my shopping in a VERY crowded supermarket when I chanced upon a friend. We embraced and cried. This time it wasn't for a house but for the loss of her daughter. She, along with many others, perished on February 22 in the CTV building. As I held her, I felt guilty for being upset over a house when her loss was so much more significant.
On Saturday 23 April the Christchurch Press published a photo. It shows the space where my former home once stood. I cried again. I cried buckets not just for the house but for the lives that have been shattered.
My city is broken, homes and buildings have been destroyed and lives have been lost. To rebuild we need people of vision and courage but rebuild it we can. We have our memories and no amount of aftershocks will ever take those away.
Kia Kaha Christchurch.