While volunteering in Sri Lanka I had the privilege of meeting Mrs. Godage. She survived the deadliest Tsunami of modern history, but she lost a daughter-in-law, two grand children and most of her friends. She was caught by the wave, and almost drowned, before being miraculously saved by an Austrian couple on the top red stairs of the house depicted in the picture.
She is one of thousands of survivors who lost everything and had to rebuild everything from the ground up. She worked as a tailor, making beautiful hand made shirts to locals and tourists, and she was good at it. The Tsunami took it all… the warehouse, the clothes, the tools and machines. With an already ill husband, she had no means to survive. Helped by her son, she was able to acquire a used sewing machine, and 5 years after she was back in business.
Mrs. Godage is a story among many other stories of survivors, but they all share the same… the grief, the loss, the deep scars of horrific visual memories and the near death. But they also share the hope, the faith and the belief.
The original story was published in “Noticias Sábado” magazine.