ImageIn honor of today’s St Patrick Day’s earthquake, I had a sudden flashback of an incident that happened when I was young during one of the big earthquakes I experienced growing up.  No, this story is in no relation to my research or school, but according to my brother, it was actions such as these that prepped me up for a life-changing event later in life…

As a seven year old girl, earthquakes were not a sudden release of pressure or movement of the Earth’s crust.  No- earthquakes were a result of aliens!!!!  Yes, aliens!!!!!!  And how did I come to this conclusion??? It’s all due to my big brother.  I had the typical big brother growing up- chasing me around the house, body slamming me on the floor and practicing other WWF wrestling moves on me (his favorite was that of the Ultimate Warrior- yep I’m going old school).  All I remember was him telling me as a little girl in pig tails was that earthquakes were due to aliens in their spaceships going underground in the earth, in which they would go under people’s homes and use a machine that would suck ONLY the kids into their spaceships, taking them to their home planet.  The kids would never return home- never to see their family again.  Of course this terrified me.  And one morning, I thought the aliens were directly under my house to snatch me up from my family, never to return.

As I was getting ready for school one morning, I remember I was walking into the living room to begin eating breakfast.  Then all of a sudden, the house started to shake- AND I MEAN REALLY SHAKE!!!!!!  The cabinets in the kitchen started flying open and plates and cups started falling to the ground.  A cabinet in the dining room also flung and my mom’s china started to fly in the air.  Chairs falling, a deep rumbling… at that moment I froze.  I did not take cover as they say to in a big earthquake.  I heard my mom yelling to get under a table or doorway, but all I could do was scream, “THE ALIENS ARE COMING, THE ALIENS ARE COMING!!!!!!”  I remember tears started streaming down my eyes and my mom trying to calm me down but I was running around like a chicken with no head.  I figure if I didn’t stay still, it would be more difficult for the aliens to suck me down into their space ship.  Finally, I heard my mom yell at my brother who was under a table at that point.  Then all of a sudden, I felt my brother grab with a wrestling bear hug and hold me down under a doorway.  I was yelling about the aliens, my mom telling my brother to calm me down.  Finally, the rumbling stopped.  I thought the aliens gave up.  I was still shaking, and my mom asking me what I was thinking not taking cover right away.  I remember I told her it was because I was trying to outwit the aliens.  She gave me a look, and then gave my brother a look.  “Marc, what is your sister talking about?????”  That was the day I learned earthquakes were not made by aliens, and that the rest of my adolescent life was going to be filled with “tough love” from my brother.

So, how does this story relate to a big event in my life???  Well, when I got bite by a crocodile I did not cry.  Growing up with my brother, I could not cry as the phrase from Rocky was always being said, “No pain, no pain!!!!”  So, when he heard about the bite and the lack of crying, wimpering, etc., he told me, “See, all those years I was tough with you as a kid was prepping you up for this moment.”  He smiled.  All I could say, was “thanks Marc… thanks.”