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.)