The last several days have been...frustrating.
In our culture, we are so accustomed to getting what we want...now. Immediate gratification has become the norm, and so when things aren't done quickly enough, frustration and annoyance can quickly set in.
Here in Joplin, the shock of the tornado has worn off, and a bit of frustration has set in.
Just trying to navigate the crowded streets of Joplin is an extremely frustrating experience. As someone said today, "Half of the residents of Joplin either lost their cars or their jobs...so you know it's not THEM who are driving on these roads...so who the heck are all of these people?"
Today was made worse by a visit from the President of the United States himself...Being that I have to drive right by where he was scheduled to speak, we had to stop for Secret Service checkpoints, which was interesting, to say the least. Can't say that I'd ever seen a Secret Service dude in real life, but now I have. And they're kinda' scary-looking, actually. Perhaps that's done on purpose.
Numerous roads were then "locked down" in anticipation of the President's visit, which made an already-horrible traffic situation just that much worse - it quickly became a nightmare.
I've been working at Red Cross headquarters the last two days, and we couldn't leave for awhile, as the Presidential motorcade would be driving right by. Although it was (somewhat) exciting to see a Presidential motorcade in person, it was frustrating to be trapped. I don't like being trapped - I don't like being told that I can't just jump in my truck and hit the road.
The people of Joplin have been amazing and so appreciative of the support that has been shown. When I get frustrated or cranky or tired, all it takes is to hear one person's story and my spirit is uplifted.
Tonight, I came back to my room - extremely frustrated and cranky. I'm talking, "on the ledge" cranky.
I'm tired...both physically and emotionally. I'm a little sick...probably due to not eating well and not sleeping well. I'm hot (it was almost 90 degrees today); I'm sweaty; and I'm dirty. Disasters sites aren't exactly pristine.
I sat down to read e-mail and check for comments on my blog, and there were 2 comments posted on my last entry, both expressing appreciation for sharing the stories of Joplin.
And one of the bloggers, Melanie, had lost her brother in the tornado.
I sat here and just bawled my eyes out. Sobbed for a full five-minutes...for Melanie, as well as for all of the families who lost loved ones from last Sunday's storm.
And then I mentally kicked myself for getting frustrated, and told myself, "Snap out of it. Think of these families...think of what frustrations they're going to be dealing with for the next day...the next week...heck, the next few years...as they attempt to slowly rebuild their lives."
My spirit has been restored.
Thank you, Melanie...for sharing the story of your brother. I'm reaching through the Bloggersphere and sending you hugs.
And hugs to the people of Joplin.
*Please note that I will not post photos of people's houses - for sensitivity to them and their families. I am only posting photos of public buildings or street scenes from afar. I hope everyone understands.