The news out of Japan is truly sobering and the images of the devastation are mind numbing.
For our family this story has definitely hit home.
Three weeks ago I wrote about putting our son on a plane and sending him off to begin a new life and job in Japan.
Our biggest concern was that we might have to go a whole year without seeing him.
That seems so trivial now.
Little did I know that a mere three weeks later my biggest concern would be nuclear fall out.
It was early Friday morning when our cell phones began vibrating and ringing relentlessly. We were inundated with calls, texts and emails wondering about James.
We were in Dallas on business and had not yet turned on the television so we were clueless to what had happened.
Fortunately there was also a brief email from James telling us he was okay. So we were able to retain some sense of sanity. He actually didn't even seem too concerned at that point and mentioned that he had even posted a bit of video to youtube.
In retrospect, it is clear that James had no idea how serious the quake in Japan was or any knowledge of the resulting tsunami.
Our contact with him for the next thirty six hours was sporadic.
Being away from home we haven't had as much access to television so our phones have been our connection to what is happening on the other side of the world. What did we ever do before smart phones.
We must have checked the news services, facebook and our emails sixty times yesterday.
It brought tears to my eyes to hear from so many of you, people I only know through blogging, and people I may never meet physically. Thank you for your words of comfort and your prayers. It has meant so much to us.
Finally last night my cell phone rang and it was James. There were, of course, tears of relief. It was so reassuring to hear his voice.
It was obvious that he was exhausted. He is working for NTT Docomo which is like ATT here in the US..They had sent his team up the eastern coast of Japan to help restore emergency service to an area devastated by the quake.
It was sobering to hear last night that he doesn't think they will be sending his team that direction again. The way he tells it he said, " Mom, we can lay all the cable and repair the connections but it has to have something to connect to and that isn't there anymore"
He has seen some things that will be burned on his brain forever and that is difficult to think about but knowing that he is able to help in any small way definitely makes his family proud.
James was interviewed by WHO in Des Moines yesterday by phone. You can see that interview here.
We love you James.