"Xiao Hei, Ni Zai Nali?"
The rain last night took its toll on homemade earthquake relief signs, glued to walls and posts around our area. The paper peeled and curled, the carefully written characters now smeared and somewhat unrecognizable.
But one laser-printed notice remains stuck firmly to the wall at my apartment entrance gate. It has been there now for exactly two weeks, posted a few days after the earthquake. I pass it every day I leave the compound to go shopping, to attend class, or to take Little Flower for her walks. And when I see it, I am reminded that not everyone has found closure concerning the fate of a loved one gone missing in the earthquake.
Little Black, Where Are You?
My home’s Little Black (a black poodle) was so scared on May 12th by the big earthquake’s chaotic event that he was lost around the area of Sichuan University’s West Gate to the Trust-mart. At present, his whereabouts no one knows.
He has accompanied me for years. We depend on each other. Now, every time I enter my home’s door, I don’t hear his cheerful bark anymore. My home is lacking a member. These feelings of love I have for my dog are difficult to give up.
Poor Little Black, your owner misses you and every morning hopes you return.
The world is a ruthless place, but has kind people. If any good-hearted person has taken him in or has knowledge of his condition, please call to let me know. Certainly, you will have a reward.
Lonely owner, Elder Liu
Contact number: 13880578419
(As I am eager to find my dog, please show mercy and restrain your hand from taking down this notice. Thank you!)
That first week after the earthquake, there were many letters such as this one posted in newspapers and on websites throughout Sichuan by distant and close relatives, all looking for their loved ones. There was hope that they’d soon be found safe or suddenly appear on a doorstep after traveling miles to return home.
Now, it’s two weeks later and the hope is gone. The dead are being buried. The survivors are grieving. They know the fate of family and friends and, while painful, at least it is an end to wondering.
But Elder Liu is still anxiously waiting.
How long his posting will remain, I’m not sure, but I think we are all hesitant to take it down. Although Chengdu wasn’t physically affected by this heartbreaking disaster, all of us in Sichuan have been emotionally touched by it. Liu’s notice still gives us one last hope that maybe, just maybe, this little one lost in the quake will return and be reunited with his family once more.
From Chengdu, wishing you, and our lost Little Black, wherever he may be, “Ping An” (Peace)
REMINDER FOR AID IN BUYING TENTS AND VACCINES
United Methodists: UMCOR Advance #982450, International Disaster Response, China Earthquake