I had every intention of writing about something else today; something much funnier. I got about halfway through the post and could not quit thinking about what the people in many areas of the midwest are going through today. I saw the pictures of one particular town in Kansas that was hit by tornadoes Friday night and it is gone. The whole thing is gone with only a battered silo still standing. I mean gone...trees uprooted; houses look like piles of splinters; cars are unrecognizable. I doubt this is the only town to suffer this kind of loss. It just made a good news picture. People have died. My heart becomes heavy when I think about the fear everyone must have experienced while they were going through this.
I went to the weather.com to see if there would be any relief for this area of the country and it looks like the storms continue to rage on. I am numb and feel useless.
We send our money to relief programs and aid organizations, but this doesn't bring me any satisfaction any more. Sometimes I just want to get in my car and take what I can and just go and cry with the people who have lost everything. I get sad if something I've had for a short time is ruined or breaks - just one thing! They have lost everything. They have lost their Great Aunt Mary's quilt that she made 100 years ago, their wedding albums, favorite t-shirt, pictures from the day baby was born and her first birthday, family heirlooms that were sources of comfort and joy. The worst part is that it doesn't end with things...some have actually died and their families are suffering an additional loss that will only serve to compound their grief beyond anything I can understand.
They have lost everything and it brings me to my knees that these are the things my money cannot and will never be able to replace. These are the people who will spend the rest of their lives trying to calm their children when a siren goes off because they know what can happen. I want to believe that for the most part "it's just things", but it's not. I guess the strength and character that we often associate with people in this area of the country has been earned at a price. It seems they have to prove to the world over and over of what they are made.
I will post later with more options for helping. I'm going to talk to some people at church today and maybe we can get a few churches in Birmingham to organize behind helping a community rebuild. It's small, but it's a start and governmental help is slow...