Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Horror

I grew up in tornado country. We had drills for tornadoes in school, where we'd all go to the central hallway and crouch with our heads against the wall. Once, in the tenth grade, I was at play practice after school when the sirens started to wail. The power went out, and we knew this one wasn't a drill. Like maniacs, we ran outside to look at the crazy sky, and then the teachers shooed us inside, and we all went to the central hall and did as we'd been trained. We were lucky that the worst of the storm passed us by. No major funnel. No major damage. We walked to our cars through huge drifts of blown leaves and marveled at the power of the Kansas weather. Just a scare. We were so lucky.

It's easy, when you live in an area that has "tornado season" every year, to become cavalier about it, until you see the destruction that a serious storm leaves in its wake. That is sobering.

My dad was at a business meeting a few miles away from the tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma this week. Seeing the footage and knowing how close he was ties a knot in my gut that won't seem to untie. He was so lucky. He is ok. A heartbreaking number of  others were not and are not. My heart aches for the parents, the family members, the loved ones. All those people, those somehow familiar Midwest faces. I see their anguish, and I see their bravery, and I see that amazing middle-of-the-country willingness to pull together, rebuild and heal. I love you, Midwest people. I'm thinking of you and praying for you right now.

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