An Event That Changed My Life - 1

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At the tender young age of nine, I already had lived through my first earthquake in Chile. I had evaded death and lived to tell its story. I had experienced at first hand the trauma of living through one of Mother Nature's most notorious catastrophes. The earthquake taught me that life is unpredictable and life should be cherished intensely. I was living with my grandmother at that point in my life. It was an ordinary Sunday morning; I was dressing up to go to church with grandma. My aunt Berta had called earlier that morning to see if I wanted to attend church with her, but I wanted to spend the day with grandma. At that moment, I had not realized the impact of that choice. As we took the bus to the church, I remember thinking what a picturesque and tranquil day it was, resembling the calm before the storm. As we stepped off the bus, we immediately headed to the entrance of the church, arriving approximately at the start of mass. We sat near the exit of the church. The priest started his general discourse of the day which merely lasted a few minutes before we started sensing mild tremors. He said over his discourse, "Please do not be startled. It is only a tremor it will soon end". In the past I had experienced many tremors in the apartment we lived in, but due to my lack of understanding, I took tremors as mild disturbances and not as a prelude to disaster. Nevertheless, as soon as he finished his statement, the tremor turned into a cataclysmic earthquake. The earthquake feels like the ground underneath is having convulsions, shivering up and down with vigorous strength. Reaction is almost impossible due to shock and we could not move because it feels like the ground underneath is coming undone. Grandma and I started heading to the exit by holding on dearly to the church pews. As she led me to the exit, we struggled with other people who were fighting to escape, consumed by fear. Everyone was trying to flee through the small exit, and no one was succeeding. I...
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