Like most of Australia, I've been confronted with violent footage of the deadly earthquake in Christchurch. I've never been to Christchurch, having only visited the North Island of New Zealand, but my heart breaks for them. There's been much talk this year, perhaps too much talk, about what you would take in the event of an emergency. Australia has been swamped with emergencies, it seems, and each time I tell myself I really MUST get myself organised. We have floods and fires to worry about, and they seem to happen with deadly regularity. Who only knows when the next big 'unexpected thing' would be?
I'd take the obvious - family, pets, drinking water, my backup information containing all 25 years of the diaries I have kept. Precious photos. You know. That bit is easy. But then, it gets more difficult.
Do I keep the old books I've collected over the years? Do I save my two daughters' heirloom knitted blankets? Do I make room for the many old treasures I've stashed away? Their christening dress? My wedding dress?
Don't even get me started on the quilts. Do I keep the hand pieced double wedding ring quilt? Or the one that is on my bed that has comforted me through good times and bad? Each one is filled with memories that make it 'the' one I would need to keep.
I wouldn't worry about the UFO's and the stash, and the quilting books. That's just all stuff. But the other things, the quilts and the baby clothes and wedding dresses and antique books - they are memories. Yeah, at the end of the day it is just stuff, like all the other stuff, but it is so much more than that.
I can't imagine losing all of that in one day, one hour. Add to that the trauma of losing your job, or your pets, or your precious, precious family - well, it's all just too much to bear.
And if you've gone through that in the last week, or year, or lifetime - my heart breaks for you.