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Earthquake In Nepal

Earthquake in Nepal

There are times when all of us have to wonder about the unique tapestry of our personal world and the actions that others have on each and every one of us. Even those who are thousands of miles away, seemly living in a life unconnected to our own can have a deep and everlasting effect on us. I have lived more than one such experience.

Five years ago, I had an argument with my daughter on the phone. It was a typical argument between a fifty-three year-old parent and a twenty year-old daughter asserting her independence but at the same time being dependent. At issue was an automobile of mine and a cell phone that I was paying for. Without going in details, the phone conversation ended abruptly with my daughter using four letter expletives I had not heard from her prior and dead silence after she hung up the phone. At the time, I thought she was just angry and when she would settle down, she would just either call me back or answer my call back in a day or so. That was not to be. I did not hear from her until a month ago, five years later.

I am not sure exactly what happened that day, but it profoundly changed my life. Not in that I felt I had done anything right or wrong, it was that unknowing I really upset someone I deeply loved. And the depth to which those shock waves traveled in her was also profound. And in the end, I had to live with what had happened. I had no choice.

Over the years, I tried many times to reenter her life. Two years after our falling out, I attended her college graduation, even though she did not want to see me. I sent her flowers on her birthdays and cards on special occasions to brighten her day. I do not know if she ever received them because she moved around so much and I had no accurate resource for getting her new address. She defriended me from her Facebook account after our argument, so that resource was dried up like an old fishing hole in the middle of no where. Probably the best resource of information I had about her was my son, who kept up with her enough to let me know she was safe and in good health.

About two years ago, I tried friending her again on her Facebook account. To my surprise, she accepted the request. She did not use Facebook much since she had always thought it was a social media filled with past relationships, most of them she had no use for. Never the less, I made comments when she posted interesting things. If I forgot to tell you, she is an artist and has an artist eye. So her photographs tell the story of her life, not her words. She gave lessons to the Chattanooga homeless on how to paint and she worked with the Hart Gallery to help sell their art work. At the same time, she went to college and after class work was finished for the day, she waited tables as a server in a restaurant called the Urban Stack.

Several years back, she needed a break from everything. So she went to Nepal to work in an orphanage in a small village outside the capital city of Katmandu. She had lived with a family as she accepted daily assignments by the administrator in the orphanage. She has hundreds of photographs of her experience in Nepal. Without question, it was a life changing event for her. I was proud that she had the courage to travel alone to and from Nepal, and to take a volunteer position in a small rural town to experience life in another world so different from her own life in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Over the years, I had discussions with patients, ministers, psychologists, family and best friends to get their opinions on my situation with my daughter. The two constant responses; she will be back and write her. Well, I wrote her a number of times in a number of ways, but to no avail. Then the Earthquake in Nepal happened a few short weeks ago.

The area most devastated by the quake was the area that in which her host family was living. My daughter was distraught. She sent out a Facebook Post telling everyone to pray for her Hindu family in Nepal. I had written her a heartfelt sincere apology two and a half months prior to her post about the Earthquake on her Facebook messaging system, asking for forgiveness for whatever I had done five years ago, but she had not answered me when I wrote it. It went unread as all the other notes.

After the Earthquake, my daughter wanted to set up a fund raising account to let people donate to a foundation to help her Hindu family and the only way she could accomplish her goal was through Facebook. As she was on the Facebook site, she noticed she had a few unread messages from several people, one of them from me. She finally read my apology and profession of love for her. She broke down and cried. She called me that night to reconnect. There were many tears shed over our two hour phone conversation. We patched things up. I suspect there will be many interesting and joy filled memories ahead.

How do I know so much about what she did in these last five years? I just got home from spending a Saturday with her and her boyfriend Jacob in Chattanooga. We walked around the art district as we talked about our lives, looking at interesting pieces of art and filling in the years of missed opportunities and challenges we both faced. We shared two meals together, something we did every holiday and on special occasions up until five years ago.

I felt sad for the people in Nepal when those earthquakes destroyed their villages and towns. Anyone with compassion would probably feel the terror and pain of those innocent victims who had to withstand Nature's fury. But without it, I doubt I would be posting this blog. More importantly, I would have spent another long length of time disconnected from one of my two children, both of whom I fiercely adore.

I think I will contribute to my daughter's foundation for Nepal. How about you?

Posted by Amanda Sanders at 9:14 AM
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