“We Will Recover…

…and come back stronger than we are today.”

City Manager Mark Rohr, Joplin Missouri

I had a great weekend. I met someone really special. I ran a race. I won a race. I PR’ed. I spent some much needed time with the husband. I stayed up late. I watched movies. I ate pizza. I had big plans on what I’d blog about come Monday morning.

Then it hit. It hit Joplin, Missouri. It hit Joplin hard. HARD.

It hit too close to home.

I live in Missouri, a couple of hours away from Joplin, so of course I can feel the overwhelming angst surrounding this terrible occurrence. However, had it been any other city…some city I wasn’t familiar with…maybe my heart wouldn’t feel so heavy.

I lived in Joplin for a year. And before I actually lived in Joplin, I drove there pretty much every other weekend for four years to sneak into Matt’s dorm and spend the night with him. It was the city I attended my first college football game, college basketball game, and the city I first played the game “baseball” in. It was the city where I first lived with Matt. It was the city where I ended up graduating from college. I’ll be honest…when I lived there I kind of despised it, but that probably had to do with the fact that we lived in an apartment complex that just happened to have a roach problem. And although my roach infested memories are the most vivid in my mind, I do have some pretty good memories from Joplin.

I sat and watched the Weather Channel for hours yesterday evening. I cursed the television when they would play the local on the eights; I just wanted to see the twister. I wanted to see Joplin and all the places I used to go. The hospital…gone. Wal-Mart…gone. The local high school where Matt did his student teaching…gone. It really is unbelievable. Unbelievable.

And then I wanted to see where it was going. My mom is on vacation in southern Missouri. My mom was too close for my comfort. This murderous twister…too close to home. I made her text me over and over until I knew it had to have passed. Her and her hubby are fine. Thank You God.

My heart aches for the people that live there. It aches for the ones who have lost their lives…it aches for the people still undiscovered or trapped……it aches for their families…it aches for the now homeless…it aches for the injured. I’m sure they are scared, and I just want them to feel okay again. I don’t do well with the waiting, the rebuilding, or the time in between tragedy and wellness. I want to take away all those peoples’ sadnesses now. I wish I could.

I couldn’t sleep last night because I wanted to see the updates on twitter and Facebook. Old acquaintances from Joplin informing the world when they made contact with their loved ones. Some people posting and spreading pictures of their loved ones still unfound. People organizing search parties, and people offering their homes for anyone who needed shelter. People posted links where you can donate to Joplin through the Red Cross and links where people could declare themselves safe so their families wouldn’t worry.

I’ve seen a first-person video taken by a young man who had taken cover with twenty other individuals in a walk-in freezer of a convenient store when the tornado struck. The video is nearly all blackness, but the emotion in the audio is heart-stopping. Perfect strangers telling each other they love each other, people proclaiming to Jesus over the roar of the twister, and then, finally, people asking each other if everyone is alright. Luckily, all those people survived.

I am lucky. I have so many blessing in my life. My family and my loved ones are lucky. I love you all. Remember to make sure the people in your life know that you love them.

As devastating as this tornado has been, a feeling of togetherness has formed out of the tragedy. People, even strangers are coming together to help one another. Medical personnel, fire fighters, policemen, and just regular people have come from surrounding cities to help dig through the rubble. And as City Manager Mark Rohr said,

We will recover and come back stronger than we are today.”

Please keep Joplin in your prayers.

ang

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16 thoughts on ““We Will Recover…

  1. Beautiful post Sweetheart. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the people of the area, and to the people of Reading, Kansas from their tornado the day before. I thought of you and Matt living down there and where I would’ve been if you still lived down there (I would be on my way down there) ((wish I could be down there as it is, just to help))

  2. Wow. Incredibly scary stuff. I’m so glad you are safe…but my heart aches for those that are not safe. What a scary time. Sending prayers.

  3. I just watched that same video on youtube and it tore at my heart strings, bringing tears to my eyes. I can’t even imagine the terror that those people felt as the tornado came through. I’ve been through many tornadoes, but never one that hit closer than a street or two away. Heart-wrenching photos. It truly puts things into perspective. I had a similar post to this one when the tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa a couple of weeks ago.

  4. wow, that is so scary that you live so close to the tornado hit area! I’m so sorry, and can only hope and pray for the people effected by it and those who lost loved ones. on an off topic, I just found your blog and can’t wait to read more! (congrats on the pr anyway btw!!)

  5. That is absolutely devastating. I pray for hope to not leave the people of Joplin, as the pieces of their lives will undoubtedly be hard to find and piece back together.

  6. I am still in shock by what happened. I had no idea you lived in Missouri! My boyfriend lives there and I keep texting him if he’s alright. Thank God your family is okay. I am praying for these poor people. It’s amazing how everyone can come together and support and love each other in times of need. I can’t imagine looking at pictures of places you used to know and go to and now looking at them and having them be unrecognizable.

  7. This is such a touching post – and beautifully written. I actually hadn’t heard about the tornado – working from home in an apartment that doesn’t have cable and a really slow internet connection makes it hard to know what’s going on in the ‘real world’ – But since learning about it, I’ve been dumbstruck by the photos, videos and news stories. I’m glad you and your family are safe and I hope families in Joplin are finding loved ones alive and safe too. Mother Nature has such an awesome power and it seems like no region is safe from her reaches this year.

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