Tara Vreeland, News On 6
SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma -- News of the earthquake quickly spread around the globe, but for a Sand Springs family who was waiting on a safe word - it couldn't come fast enough.
The Cash family has called Japan home for over eight years. Now, they've made the tough decision to try and leave.
"The house was shaking like this, and I felt weird," said Claire Cash.
Eight-year-old Claire Cash was playing the piano when the massive quake hit Japan.
"I felt scared. I cried," she said.
Claire, her three little brothers, and their parents, Lisa and Keith, say they are used to the mini-earthquakes they say happen all the time. But this time, it's different.
"The aftershocks are still going pretty strong. You never know when they are going to hit," said Lisa Cash.
Back in Oklahoma, the earthquake shook Lisa's mother to the core. She rushed to the computer to find out if her family overseas was safe. But even seeing the smiling face of her grandchildren and hearing the voice of her daughter are not enough to ease the anxiety.
"I want you to come home. And this is a happy place. We will take care of all of you," Vicki Clanton told her family in Japan.
With the threat of radiation outside and orders to stay indoors, Lisa and her husband Keith decided it was time to get the kids out of Japan.
"Someone yesterday said something to me that made me change my mind," Lisa said. "They said look, you signed up for this. But your four small children, they didn't sign up for this."
Hearing it put that way changed Lisa's mind and took her mother's breath away.
"I didn't know you had the discussion that kids didn't sign up for this," Vicki said. "It surprises me to hear you say that because of your devotion to what you are doing."
Keith will have to stay behind for work. Now the Cash family is trying to raise just that - the cash to fly Lisa and the kids back to Oklahoma. They say price for tickets has skyrocketed, and it will cost $12,000 to get them home.
"If it happens then this is what we are supposed to do; if it doesn't we'll stay. And we will have to be okay with that," said Lisa Cash, whose family is living in Japan but wants to come home.
Lisa Cash says she has never been away from her husband for more than two weeks, but their children are their top priority.