Thursday, April 28, 2011

Those aren't Stars Falling on Alabama...

Tuscaloosa after storm
I don't know how many of you have heard, but this week has been just plain horrible for people in the South. The massive storm system that birthed the Mother of all tornadoes--that in turn spawned her own monster babies--ripped apart the state and left over 200 dead. The death toll is expected to rise.

I hate numbers.

I just ask that y'all keep us down here in Alabama in your prayers. I was blessed to live below the danger zone this time and my family is safe as well, but there are a good number of people who just lost everything.

It's hard to imagine what they are going through. Shock. Denial. Pain. Agony. Fear. Hopelessness. Sorrow. The list of emotions could go on and on. I just pray that those of us left unscathed will have the courage and compassion to help those who did not.

Because you never know when something like this will happen. It's unpredictable, as nature always has and will be. Sure, we have our weather men and women and our radar maps, but they can't prevent these things from happening anymore than I can predict the winning lottery numbers.

Seeing the pictures on TV was jarring. I'd just been in Tuscaloosa in December. My cousin had graduated and we had lunch at his house in one of the student populated neighborhoods similar to the ones that were flattened by the tornado. All I could keep thinking was, "He could have died. I'm so glad he finally graduated and lives in Illinois now. He could have died."

And then I realized that I had friends in the other areas hit by the storm, and I checked on them. Thank goodness they were okay. One of my friends said he saw the tornado go past his dorm.

This disaster is...well, disastrous. It's heartbreaking. And the most terrifying part of it is knowing that it was an act of nature and thus unpreventable.

Hurricanes are something I'm well-acquainted with. I'm used to the danger of 100 mph winds and blinding rain. I know to board up my house, fill the tubs with water, and hoard supplies a week in advance of the storm. Hurricanes are easy to prepare for. They don't just appear out of the blue.

Tornadoes do. You can't prepare for a tornado a week in advance. They don't give you time to gird your loins. You have to find a closet, basement, or a bathtub in less than ten minutes and sometimes without any warning at all.

It's just indecent, but there's nothing we can do about it other than pray and take care of each other in the aftermath. So, I urge all of you who read this to donate to the Red Cross. They are only accepting monetary donations at the moment, but once the areas hit by the storm have been thoroughly combed, they will start to put up lists of items that they and the victims need.

If you pray, thank you. If you donate, thank you. Anything--no matter how small--helps.

God bless.
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