Hey Loves! F & J here!
There is something we have been wanting to write a post about, and we both feel like its important to share our experiences and feelings with you. We have been stalling writing this post because we have been unsure how to approach the subject. Its hard to find the words that describe our emotions and feelings surrounding this post. We decided the best way to go about it is to jump right in, so stick with us.
A few weeks back we posted about being in Hawaii (more blogs about the trip to follow, we promise). We were so excited and thankful to be there for a good amount of time. We were even complaining about how we wish we didn’t have to go home. But on the second to last day of our vacation, our morning was interrupted by the loudest ringing alarm off of both of our phones. It sounded just like an amber alert notification but louder, and thats what we were expecting to see on our phone. Instead we had an emergency notification for a ballistic missile threat. Our hearts stopped. It was in all caps, sent out by the government, and urging us to find shelter immediately; it was not a drill.
Within the second, we both shot looks to each other to confirm we had read the same terrifying thing. Our blood went cold, and we started to panic. We have never felt this kind of fear. Ever. The first thing we did was call the friends we went to Hawaii with and made sure they knew what was happening. There was a lot of confusion and tears. While on the phone their television showed an emergency alert with even more instructions, stating the missile would be hitting within minutes. We quickly hung up the call, and immediately started dialing our parents. J was quick to get through to them, though there was a moment that she was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to. F had a harder time and it took several tries to get ahold of her mom. While we were dialing F spent the time trying to shut the blinds, and windows, taking in as much clean water as she could. Neither of us knew what to do in the situation, and was trying to do anything that made sense.
Looking out the window seeing people who must of not had gotten the alert, wandering around, made us fearful for them too and we didn’t know how to save them if we could. Time was moving so fast, but also as slow as you can imagine. Constantly bracing for some kind of bang, explosion, or radio silence. We didn’t know what to do or if there was anything we could do to save ourselves. We thought we would be dead, or at the most, barely alive. The fear that we felt was indescribable and hard to relive, making this post really hard to write.
After 38 long minutes of this all consuming fear, we received another alert that sounded the same as the first, telling us that it was a false alarm. A wave of relief hit us, and disbelief. We had to check sources to make sure this one was real. It was hard to believe that all of it was just a mistake. The rest of the day the mood never shifted for us. There was constant fear, panic, and paranoia. It was hard to enjoy being in Hawaii, we were ready to be home. Every plane that flew over concerned us, any loud noise, any sudden screams, calls coming in, even phone notifications, had our hearts racing again.
Somehow the rest of Hawaii seemed to be back to its happy spirits, but the haunting memory of the lingering fear really stayed with us. Even coming home we still have a constant fear on our back. Being home has helped us, but F is still having trouble sleeping at night. If we are being completely honest, thinking about it and writing this post is making it all fresh again. We have been avoiding the topic in general.
We have noticed since coming back to Seattle that people all heard the short story of it, and look over it and laugh. But to us it was real. Those 38 minutes will haunt us forever. There was no missile, but to us there was. We are very fortunate that things played out the way they did.
We would never wish this upon anyone but honestly it gave us a new outlook on life, and a new understanding of what a lot of people have to face. In that moment you realize what is actually important. As people we know what is important, but it is too easy to care about that don’t matter, such as beauty and material things. When it came down to it, the life we lived and our family and loved ones were all that mattered. We realize now more than ever how important it is to find happiness in your life, and that theres no better time to do what you want than now and don’t let anyone get in your way. Everyone deserves that, and no less.
We know this is a heavy post but we are glad to put it out there and we promise our next posts will be fun and light, and we can’t wait to share all the good times and memories we had in Hawaii. Thanks for sticking around.
F & J