Here comes the final day of May 2013. Before June arrives, I'll share another story why I'll always tell you (and myself, more importantly) that May shall be the month to remind myself to be grateful for life, in its most fundamental way.
27 of May, seven years ago,I experienced my closest-to-death moment by far, the Jogja earthquake. It was 5.55 in the morning, and occurred on the Richter scale of 5,9 or maybe 6,2. It was pretty huge, unanticipated natural disaster and has cost 5,782 lives.
I wrote a pretty extensive email about the detail of my experience that day to my exchange friends from all over the world (I participated in an exchange program in Japan from 2004 to 2005), and thankfully, I also copied it here, so that you can read it today.
That day was probably the bloodiest day I've ever experienced. Probably the only day that I ever felt the feeling of "almost fainted". (In my life, I have never fainted, so it was pretty new and strange experience) I remember I did not cry for the injuries I suffered . I cried when I've heard that it was not a volcanic quake, which confirmed that my parents and my brothers who lived around 20 kilometers from the volcano were safe and sound. The earthquake has left me some souvenirs, some scars and stitches. Oh, and the stitches were made in some tents outside a hospital without anesthetic help. Ouch.
Seven years living with those "souvenirs", I've realized that the Almighty has been so generous to me. If you were there that day, witnessing how terrifying the quake was, how devastated the house was, and that there were several died neighbors, you would see I could have easily been one of those 5,782 casualties.
But no. I survived to reach that hospital, met my tearful mum there, was carried by one of my bros on his back to the parking lot, and arrived safely in my own room. It is true that I remained helpless (and super cranky!!!) for almost a month, became very dependent on others for I could not walk, but apart from this, I recovered just in time to catch up with my undergrad thesis writing! It was just two days ago that I came to realize how much ease He has given me, when a friend of mine who graduated in the same day as mine told me that she has done her thesis prior to the earthquake. I had not even finish my social service when the earthquake occurred, and probably was in the middle of nowhere on thesis writing. Yet, I was eventually able to graduate at the same day as hers.
I could recall that despite my imperfectly-healed foot I would ride my War Machine (yes, that's how I named my old AB3400CY!:p) to meet my supervisor in the university, discussed about the revision, and finally presented it to my supervisor and the examiners, exactly on my birthday that year. It was not the most brilliant thesis (I wish I had paid attention more on the methodology!), nor most impressive presentation, but they kindly granted me an A (I suspiciously think that this particular A stands for "A-tasbelaskasihan" a.k.a pity-based :p) , and I proceeded to the graduation in August! The following months that year granted me no complaints. I got an interesting job before even graduated. I was not even applying for job vacations, literally. There were ups and downs, pitfalls, confusions, and broken hearts (#uhuk) during the following years after, but overall, 2007 to 2013 have been equally interesting and full of countless blessings. :)
Seven years living with those little scars and stitches, I really think I should have nothing but gratitude. I'm grateful for the Lord has decided to given me my life despite what happened that day, and I'm grateful that the people around me have been the kindest and the most supportive with their utmost patience during those difficult days of recovery. You could imagine how someone, who dubbed him/herself to be mr/miss independent, could be very frustrated and cranky as he/she could not even walk to the bathroom by him/herself. Those scars and stitches have taught me that the experience and the feeling of helplessness (especially at the very moment when others need your help) only strengthen my conviction that I need to be more thankful for my current state. For the life that I often take for granted.