First off, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families impacted by the eruption at Whakaari (White Island) in New Zealand. I hope their faith is throng and able to help them through an unquestionably difficult time. Above and beyond anything else I write about today my heart breaks for them.
Earlier this evening we heard some terrible news. Whakaari (aka White Island) erupted very unexpectedly today. Unfortunately there was a least one tour group on the volcano when the eruption occurred. The details are still not clear, but the most recent news is that five are dead, several injured, and several unaccounted for.
A couple of years ago Becky, the boys, and I took an incredible tour out to that volcano that we’ll never forget. When we signed up for the tour there was the standard safety stuff as well as several other kind of crazy warnings about gas, eruptions, and so on. Of course we listened, but it was more of a formality. Nothing bad like that ever happens, right? Now as my brain goes back though what was discussed the hair on the back of neck stands up thinking that someone just lived that experience.
Throughout most of the day I was planning on blogging about relaxing, enjoying time with the family on vacation, or maybe body boarding. Something light and peaceful about great time with my family. After hearing the news of the eruption I’ve been so thankful for something so much more basic .
Tonight I’m more thankful than ever for safe, healthy, and relatively uneventful vacations. We’ve had many crazy experiences and any one of the them could have gone awry in horrible ways. The risk of something tragic is extremely low, but the risk is still there. Today’s eruption is a powerful reminder that tragedy can strike anytime, even on vacation. I’m thankful we’ve had great times and experiences as a family and have thus far seen them end without any tragedy or even serious issue. It’s something that is so easy to take for granted, but something I need to remember to pause and be grateful for more often.
Again, my thoughts and prayers go out to all those impacted by today’s eruption. I can’t (and don’t want to) imagine the pain they are in at this moment.