Our hearts are so heavy. There is devastation all around us; 211 tornadoes touched ground on April 27th leaving our community marred, hundreds dead, a million homes without power, countless others injured, and entire cities destroyed. We escaped damage to our home, but lived without power for five days. Cold showers, doing dished by hand, and washing clothes in the sink pale in comparison to the grief and destruction that plague so many other families near us. We have each other, our home, and had prepared ourselves in advance with the vital essentials, and since we were unable to go to work because of the power outage, we decided to enjoy the time together. Every moment held greater purpose, time seemed to expand, and gratitude crept into my every thought.
Here are a few pictures from the last few days.
This is a picture (taken from the exact same spot) of the Flint River (above Sept 2010, below Apr 2011) on the day after the storms. We have never seen the river this high. As people began sifting through the rubble, our rivers are creeks began to crest from all of the rain that accompanied the tornadoes. I am so humbled by our world and its ability to create, change, and adapt.
This was the view from our front porch as the terrible storms came through. We knew it was an odd day when we woke up to the tornado sirens going off. Tornadoes usually roll through in the late afternoon, never in the morning. Soon after Sean left for work, I found myself huddled in the closet with the kids, listening to the roaring winds, and praying for grace.
After an entire day of hiding from storm after storm, we were told that the entire North half of Alabama was in the dark and that it would be several days before power would be restored. At first I felt the bitter sting of panic. How do I provide for my family without lights, warm water, phones to call for help, grocery stores, gas stations, banks, or air conditioning? We had just come home from SLC and hadn't done laundry or gone grocery shopping. We spent all of our money on our impromptu visit to the Denver hospital. What were we going to do?? Then I paused. Sean and I had talked about this (thinking of course that it would never happen). We had a plan. I inventoried our nonperishable while Sean hooked up the generator and left for Tennessee to find a place to buy gasoline to sustain us for as long as possible. A few days later, Publix opened using a generator. We rushed over to stock up, not knowing what the future held, and this is what we found in our dimly lit neighborhood grocery store.... I've never seen so many people snatching up groceries!
And a few more pictures of our candle lit Uno games, cornbread on the grill, and breakfast on day 5 cooking on Sean's homemade oven. Seriously, he made an oven with bricks and wood... I'm swooning just thinking about it. :)
I feel so humbled, so greatful, so blessed. My heart aches for those families who were torn apart and the homes that were destroyed so quickly and violently.
If you feel inspired to help but don't know how, check out this website, and to learn how to prepare yourself and your family for an emergency BEFORE the moment of crisis check this out.