EndNotes

Spending the night in a parking lot

On vacation in Hawaii, we were under an evacuation order two nights ago, when the tsunami threatened the islands. We have a family group here and so we loaded in baby and toddler and adults in two vans and headed for higher ground, which turned out to be a parking lot of a shopping mall, and then a few hours later, when it was feared the waves might be even higher than predicted, we moved to a huge grassy field, an event parking lot though it never became clear what kind of event might happen there.

We listened to the radio all night in one van while babies slept in another. Because it was later in Spokane, and even later on the East Coast, where we have relatives, there was much texting going on. We have a relative from Japan and prayed and worried about her family. And it was reassuring in the dark night to know we had so many folks with us in spirit and in texting, as we were with the family we know in Japan.

The parking lot security guide showed much kindness to all parked there, opening the bathrooms. And then at the event field, where hundreds of cars gathered, people were kind to one another, sharing information.

At about 6 in the morning, we all returned to condos near the beach. The waves didn't amount to what had been feared. No damage where we were staying, but we turned on TV to see the horror in Japan.

In times when extraordinary events interrupt routine -- or vacation -- the same things matter and transcend all. The hope you aren't alone. And how much kindness matters.




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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.






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