Monday, May 30, 2011

Joplin: Day 6 A World Redefined

Sleep eludes me last night.

Perhaps it was all of the frustration I was carrying around yesterday...the sense of loss...the sense of helplessness...the sense of powerlessness.

This tornado, if nothing else, has shown me that we - as people - are not as in control as we would like to think....

It has shown me that life is fleeting...and that your goals, your dreams, your plans - can change in the course of a few minutes.


Your reality is now this: Before the tornado. After the tornado. Forevermore, your life will be defined by one moment on a Sunday afternoon when Mother Nature unleashed her fury and showed who really is in control.

A neighborhood playground...

As I drive through the streets of Joplin, I can only reflect on these things...passing mountains of splintered trees, sheet metal, smashed cars, and unrecognizable items pushed to the sides to allow cars to get through.

As I see the people of Joplin working in their shattered houses and yards, trying to recover anything that remains of "Before the tornado," my heart reaches out to them.

I want to reach through my window and tell them, "It's going to be okay."

But will it?

I'd like to think so.

I know the people here are strong. I know they have a fighting spirit. And I know they will get through this - not today, not tomorrow, not next week - perhaps not even next year - but eventually, life will return to a semblance of normalcy.

My days are long, hard and physical. I miss my family. I miss the familiarity of my world. I'm working as hard as I can in my Red Cross truck, delivering much-needed supplies to the people here to keep the recovery process flowing.

Just a few of our trucks at Red Cross Headquarters, awaiting instructions

If I feel the need to complain, all I have to do is look out my truck window, and I think to myself, "I'm sure the people of Joplin miss the familiarity of their world, too. Before the tornado."

So suck it up, Drama Queen.

There's work to be done.


*Again, I will not be posting any photos of individual houses that were destroyed/damaged in Joplin out of respect for the people who lived there...I will only be posting photos of public buildings or businesses...I hope everyone understands.....


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