'Special little symbols of hope'

Best buds born in shock and shake

ASHLEIGH STEWART
Last updated 05:00 22/02/2014
Earthquake babies
DANIEL TOBIN/Fairfax NZ
QUAKE BABIES: Birthday girl Alyssa Blackman, 3, left, was born on February 22, 2011. Her best friend, Lola Romero, 3, was born on September 4, 2010.

Relevant offers

Christchurch Earthquake 2011

Major artwork gifted as a legacy for Christchurch quake victim Clip art: A visual Christchurch earthquake story New plans submitted for red-zone water facility Manslaughter charges the only option in CTV building earthquake case Canterbury earthquake memorial 'a place to grieve and hope' - English Before, during and after: See how Christchurch has changed 'It brought tears to my eyes': Quake memorial opened to emotional families Christchurch Earthquake Memorial draws on rich tradition of memorials around the world Bruce Springsteen has Christchurch earthquake hero Michael Harford on his side Christchurch earthquake memorial designer Grega Vezjak wins another memorial competition, in Kentucky

It was pure luck that brought them into the world during the region's two big earthquakes. But their mothers believe it was a stroke of fate that brought them together.

Lola Romero and Alyssa Blackman, both 3, are quake babies. Lola's mum Maria Romero was in a birthing pool at Christchurch Hospital during the September 4 quake. Alyssa's mum Jo Blackman was at home in Fendalton when the February quake struck, and went into labour two hours later amid ongoing aftershocks.

Three years later, Lola and Alyssa are best friends.

"Once they get old enough they might understand that they're both pretty special little symbols of hope for the future," Blackman said.

Blackman and Romero's 5-year-old sons became friends at the same preschool their sisters would then meet. When one mother mentioned they had a quake baby in conversation, they realised they had stumbled onto something special.

"It's just really ironic that the boys should meet, and then the mums and now the girls, and now we find out we've got something special in common," Blackman said.

"They just formed a friendship and got on together."

In turn, Blackman and Romero often meet up socially. Romero was amused the girls "play together heaps, but don't have a clue". She said the earthquakes were "a thing of the past" for her family.

Blackman said she was likely to take Alyssa to the Commemorative Service at the Botanic Gardens today, as part of her third birthday festivities.

"For the rest of her life that date's going to be quite hard to deal with for a lot of people, but for her it's going to be a date of celebration," she said.

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which memorial design do you like most?

Memorial Wall with a reflective pond

Table and Chairs

A Green and Peaceful Landscape

Call and Response

Riverside Promenade

A Curved and Inclusive Memorial Wall

Vote Result

Related story: Christchurch earthquake memorial designs unveiled

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content