I was awoken at around 3 a.m. last Saturday by a call from my nephew, Adam. “There was an earthquake in Chile,” he said frantically. His parents (my sister and brother in law) were in Santiago for the start of a month-long cruise around South America. They had arrived in Chile that day.
“It’s all over the Internet. It was an 8.8,” Adam said, panic in his 32-year-old voice.
I ran to look at the itinerary Shelley and Rusty had studiously left with me to find their hotel name and number. I also started perusing all the stories I could find about the location of the quake in relation to Santiago. Details were sketchy and their were no TV reports. Not a single one.
After fumbling around to determine the city and country codes, I dialed the hotel. The phone range incessantly. Adam remained on the other end, mumbling about tsunamis. I kept reassuring him that everything was going to be fine.
“The power is obviously down,” I told Adam, “but I’ll keep trying.” I called and called. Finally, a man answered.
“Is everything OK?” I asked.
“We just got the power back on,” he said.
I gave him my sister’s name and asked if he could ring their room. Just as he repeated their names, the phone went dead.
Adam and I sent texts to each other for the next two hours, while we both kept up with half-baked news reports. When I heard on Fox that a 60-year old woman was killed, I morbidly thought it was Shelley. We had just celebrated her birthday. Our FOF minds work in mysterious ways.