I don’t know how much news coverage the Oso landslide tragedy is getting, internationally, but hopefully you all know what I’m talking about. At about 10.30 am last Saturday, in a small town about an hour North of Seattle, all that rain that we’ve been having in the last few weeks culminated in a catastrophic collapse of the hillside sitting behind a beautiful little hamlet, nestled right on the bend of the river. As the residents of Oso cleared their breakfast dishes away, settled down to read the weekend papers, and made plans for the start of their weekend, several million tons of mud, silt, trees and boulders suddenly, and without any warning, came crashing into their homes. As the contractor arrived to fix a resident’s boiler, and the farrier drove her deadly route home from shoeing a horse, an unstoppable wall of soggy debris rammed through, obliterating everything in its path, and putting a sinister new spin on the “wrong place, wrong time” cliche.
If the events of this week have shown us anything, it’s that we need to treasure every second. Every kiss, every smile, every delicious meal, each and every joyful moment – be it a hug from your daughter, a sloppy kiss from the dog, or simply the whole family laughing at a joke on The Middle. Savour it. Embrace it. Because in the blink of an eye, it could all be….gone.
As I sat sobbing at my desk this afternoon, having seen the news (and accompanying heartbreaking photo) of the retrieval of sweet 4-month old Sanoah’s body from the wreckage, I wondered how on earth I was going to find a moment of happiness to talk about today. How can I be thinking of joyful things, at a time of such intense shock and grief in our small corner of the world?
And then I heard giggles from downstairs. And singing. The sounds of my living, breathing, healthy children playing happily, obliviously together in our wonderfully intact home.
So today, if I may, I’m choosing to celebrate #100GratefulDays. In the midst of all this sadness, I can only be thankful that my little family has nothing more to worry about than which Hello Kitty doll gets taken to bed tonight, and where Henry has hidden the remote control.
For today, at least. Who ever knows what tomorrow might bring?!
** If you want to help the victims of Oso, there are several ways you can chip in listed here. **