I was lucky in the February 22nd earthquake in Christchurch. The house I rented had no damage. I never had to deal with an EQC person or an insurance broker. Neither My nor my wife's job were affected. I got off pretty much unscathed. I told myself that I was lucky.
It has been over a year and I have just recently realized that I was not as lucky as I first thought. I am headed to Brisbane this weekend to visit with my friend Dave whom I worked with in Christchurch. He has since moved to Brisbane because of the earthquakes. I used to run 3 times a week at lunch with Dave and rated him as one of my best friends in New Zealand.
My other best friend moved to Mosgiel with his lovely wife Carol. Though I have been conscious of the fact the Ferg lives 5 hours away, it is only recently dawning on me that I actually miss hanging out with the big fella. This has been highlighted in an unexpected way. I would have thought that I'd miss the good times going to shoot photos, eating at Wendy's or just shooting the breeze. But the absence has been punctuated by a stress. I have realized that when someone lives a distance away, you are left with a snapshot based on the last time you saw them or spoke on the phone. A lot can change in a few days. Without the face time and common interactions that built the friendship, the ebb and flow of good and bad times can be whitewashed by the glossy snapshot. Communication is reduced by distance, and with it the insights in to the other person's life.
Though some would say I was crazy, there are times I would gladly take an appointment with the worst reps from the EQC and insurance company in exchange for a run with Dave and whisky with the big guy. Just so I can ask how they are doing and see what they are actually saying when they answer.