Monday, February 13, 2012

This is where we part ways

We thought we'd get an early start on the day and spend some time in Christchurch today before my parents flew home - their flight was departing at 16.55 so we had a few hours together.  One of the things to see in Christchurch, as awful as it sounds, is earthquake damage.  We didn't really know quite where to go to see things firsthand, but I had in mind that it would be interesting to see Lyttleton Harbour.  It was getting to lunchtime though, so I navigated us to a Dominoes near the area using my iPhone app.  Turns out the Dominoes was the only business open in a small shopping complex after some major quakes had ripped open tarmac and shaken foundations.  A huge pile of silt was still lying nearby (a product of the liquefaction) and there were fissures big enough to stand in where the carpark had pulled away from the concrete foundations of the walkways.  It was depressing!  Mom expected to see tumbleweed blowing across what felt like a ghost town.  We guessed that the only reason that the pizza shop was still open and functioning was to service the many workmen milling about in bright orange vests, working on pipes - either to repair things or get things ready for flattening, we weren't sure. 
 Took our pizzas and drove about 1 km to the beach overlooking the New Brighton Pier where Nick found a parking directly in front of the boardwalk and ocean - quite a pleasant spot to enjoy the rain and wind from the safety of a car!  We left Mom in the car and took a walk along the pier but it was thoroughly unpleasant and altogether Not Nice.  We hurried back and had a brief look around the library before driving the half hour back to the airport. 
 It took less than five minutes for Mom and Dad to check in - there were no queues and hardly anyone about at 2 in the afternoon!  Bizarre.  Then there followed an hour or two of waiting at the airport - we couldn't bear to simply leave the folks sitting there on their own while we went back to an empty house, so put off the inevitable goodbyes as long as possible.   
At some point in the day I started panicking about whether I'd said all the important things needing saying, like how much I love my parents and appreciate their Godly example and influence - sometimes these things get left until funerals to voice, but how sad that the recipients of such lovely tributes don't get to hear it themselves!  But no, I think we covered all the ground with plenty of snippets of serious conversation between all the teasing and laughter which was more characteristic of our times around the dinner table.  It's been a pleasure having you here, Mom and Dad - we love you and will miss you terribly!

Took the boys to Hallensteins at Hornby for some retail therapy - they were needing a few wardrobe fillers and the Dress Smart in Christchurch is one of the best places to go if you're looking for bargains and clearance items!  It provided a short-term distraction anyway to the sadness of the afternoon.

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

What a wonderful time you all had together!