Friday’s Tornadoes Shift Priorities A Bit

When bad weather hits, I’m cautious but not an alarmist. My husband tends to get caught up in all the weather channel hype. You know, the storm-of-the-century-of-the-week. He borders on playing the alarmist. When bad weather is predicted, he turns up his weather radio and watches the radar on TV. Since he’s so tuned in, I tend to tune out.

Not last Friday.

Weather technology has become more and more amazing. A tornado, caught on the radar at the Alabama border, was headed our way. Gathering strength. Well formed. Highly damaging. I repeat, headed our way. It started almost 150 miles away and it was coming. And the weather man was able to tell us what street it was on and which street it was headed for next.

My husband was watching the news intently all evening. I got interested when the tornado was a couple towns away.

The logical side of my brain realizes that tornadoes can affect me. Our home. My family. The emotional, stunted part of my brain doesn’t really think it will. Until a few nights ago.

We woke the boys up out of sound slumber and brought them downstairs to our basement. As I was gently nudging #2son awake my husband got irritated, “This isn’t the time to be gentle! Get them up NOW and go downstairs!” (Remember? He’s the alarmist.)

Half asleep, but enjoying the adventure, my boys weren’t afraid. Probably because I had created a little sleeping bag nest for us, complete with books and ipods and nintendo games. My husband paced while the boys and I cuddled and giggled.

After the tornado had skipped south of us, my husband and I breathed a sigh of relief. Sure. I was scared. But I couldn’t stop the tornado from coming. And having it come so close to us, hearing the weather man announce which street it was on and which street it was headed for next? Made it a little more real for me than I was comfortable with.

The internet was loaded with pictures the next day of all the devastation Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Ohio, and yes, Georgia had experienced. Our neighborhood message board lit up with requests for people in need. I tore through our home and put together clothes, toiletries from my extreme couponer-wannabe stockpile. It felt good to do something. Anything. Some neighbors, that I had never met before, have friends in Chattanooga who lost everything. Their home was flattened. They all survived, thank goodness, but now have to start over. I brought them the things that I could put together and told them to let me know if they need more for their next trip up there to help.

So many people lost their lives, their homes. Pictures, beloved books or toys, favorite curtains or cups. Sure, all of these things can be replaced. But the loss they must be feeling right now is unimaginable to me. It made my silly request of you all on Friday afternoon seem……silly. Share some love, indeed.

If you can’t help a family directly, please consider donating to the American Red Cross. Rebuilding is going to take time, money, and so much hard work. If we all share a little of what we have, together we can make a world of difference.

(My Friday post also included a bloggy friend who could use your help. If you can help her in her financial struggle as she tries to make things right, thank you. And if you still want to vote for the picture of my kids for the contest, that’s great, too. Just wanted to let you know, my own priorities have shifted a bit.)

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10 Comments

Filed under Be-Causes

10 responses to “Friday’s Tornadoes Shift Priorities A Bit

  1. Yes, there’s always something going on that resets priorities. I’m (un)fortunate that I get this almost every day I work… as a school counselor / child therapist. Doesn’t fix anything, but sometimes helps me be a little more thankful for my son, as he is, and for what we have as a family.

  2. Those things might suddenly seem trivial in the light of this but blogs are for sharing both the trivial and the serious and both have their place and season. :)

  3. Glad you are all safe, but feeling sad for all those who were not, who lost so much. It’s always hard to start over and rebuild. The Red Cross is a great place to donate. Awesome that included a link.

  4. Still, so glad you are all safe and sound, my friend!

  5. I am so glad that you and your family are safe. It is so wonderful that you are doing all that you can to help others and I personally appreciate the help you have given to me. You are an amazing woman! *hugs*

  6. Happy that you’re safe. Sad so many were not. My husband is down in AL at the moment, and one of the tornadoes was only 9 miles north. Made all the difference and we lost nothing. Still. Close enough to realize what is important.

  7. That must be a horrible feeling of being so powerless, that there is nothing you can do to affect whether you will be in the path of the storm. Glad it missed you!

  8. As a life-long Midwesterner, tornadoes are a fact of spring (and sometimes fall). I approach each spring storm with this as a possibility. We actually have a disaster room complete with emergency food, sleeping bags, pillows, water, first aid essentials and a generator…just in case. But that doesn’t keep us from wanting to run outside to “look” when the sirens go off!

  9. Life has a funny way of shifting priorities. I’m glad you and your family were safe and sound.

  10. Glad everyone was safe! Weather definitely reshifts so much.

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