I hope you will let me borrow this expression today, my second homeland.
It has been five years already. Or is it still only five years… Whichever way we perceive the passage of time, today is a day my country of origin cannot forget.
Maybe we cannot forget because we lost tens of thousands of lives, and we still feel helpless that they could not be saved, or we still feel guilty that we are alive today while they are not.
But maybe it is better to remember to celebrate the lives that were lost, and to think about what we can do to save those who are still suffering and be glad that we are alive to help them.
Maybe we cannot forget because the images of towns being swept away and reduced to rubbles keep haunting us, and we experience the trauma over and over again, or we are stuck in fear and unable to move on.
But maybe it is better to remember to imagine how we can rebuild our towns and our lives, and to think about what we can do to empower ourselves to fight fear and feel capable of stepping forward.
Maybe we cannot forget because families and businesses have been forced to leave their hometowns and have yet to return, and we are reminded of the fact that still not enough have been provided, or we are beginning to allocate resources away from where they are still needed.
But maybe it is better to remember to appreciate all the thoughts and prayers in addition to relief supplies we have received, and are still receiving, from all over the world, and think about what we can do to be creative and get the most (and possibly more) out of what we have.
It is so very difficult to forget what we experienced five years ago today. But I think not forgetting is not the same as remembering. Some things we can forget, and still be able to remember all the things we can do to make today better than yesterday.
Today, I forget. Today, I remember. Today, I make it better than yesterday. I hope you will too.