Suddenly, the world is looking much brighter.
We have been amazed at the amount of people coming by to help us sift through the rubble that was once our home and trying to reassure us that things will get better.
They have been so nice and caring it's enough to make us cry again, but unlke past tears, these tears we shed now are tears of joy!
We lost our home two days ago. A massive EF-5 tornado struck the southern portion of Joplin, Missiouri, where we live; hundreds of homes, businesses, and other buildings were heavily damaged and/or destroyed. Even the hospital downtown took a direct hit; amazingly it is still standing, but it will be months before it is deemed usuable again.
Quite a few people were killed in the storm; many more were injured, some critically. They have been airlifted to other hospitals in our area. The hospital here suffered much in the way of damage. My heart breaks for them.
Amazingly, my own family fared much better. We were unhurt other than a few bumps and bruises and several cuts, but we escaped relatively unscathed. It was only by a miracle that we weren't included on the casuatly (or fatality) list.
The Red Cross has been by, bringing us food, and helping us go through the destruction, seeing if we can find any momentos that we can salvage. They told us that they will be finding us shelter, so we can have a place to lay our heads for the night and get out of the weather, in case it storms again. Small comforts, yes, but then I see the devastation around me, and it makes me want to give up any hope.
I don't know yet how my neighbors fared in the tornado. Their homes ar as bad off as mine is (or not even there, as mine is). I will have to pray for them, even though I need prayers myself. I have to remember this: a home can always be replaced. A human life cannot.
We have been in tornadoes before, so dealing with soemthing like this shouldn't bother us, but when we see all our dreams/hopes collapsing around us and hear the howling, menacing winds of the storm roaring above our heads, well, things change. We are left shellshocked and wondering already when "the next one" will come or if it will finish us off.
We were hiding in our bathtub in the bathroom when the thing hit. It seemed like hours, but it probably lasted several minutes at the most. It was altogether terrifying; I know we will probably have nightmares about this for a very long time to come!
I don't know what will happpen to us in the future, but we can be thankful that we all survived this massive tornado in one piece and even though our home got totaled by the incredible winds, we will be like the phoenix: we will rise again, stronger than ever.
Our faith in God will probably be the one thing to carry us through this traumatic time, that, and the compassionate people reaching out to help.
~To be continued.~