On Monday, this past Memorial Day, my little family and I wanted to do something different. We wanted to do something that would make the day memorable in a way of helping others. So we decided that we would spend the day helping the victims of the Moore Tornado that struck on May 19th, 2013.
This was our 2nd visit to the area of destruction since the tornado hit. I can’t even begin to tell you what it is like to see it in person. Seeing it in photos or on television is one thing, but being there….standing there in person is totally different. It’s so hard to be there, yet it is so hard to leave. It makes one feel so helpless when all you want to do is make everything better – but you can’t; you can’t make it all go away in the blink of an eye. Every which way you turn looks like something out of a war zone. To turn a full 360 degree circle and see nothing but leveled homes for as far as you can see is indescribable. And to think that it goes on for 24 straight miles is really unimaginable. It is so hard to mentally process that it really is real. The mind wants to believe that it is simply viewing a scene from a Hollywood movie set.
This photo pretty much depicts what I am trying to explain when I say that all you can see is mass destruction for as far as you can see.
There is just not much of anything that can be salvaged. It looks as though everything was placed into a massive sized blender, pulverized, and dumped out. And I guess, technically, that’s pretty close to what really happened. This photo shows a bunch of metal twisted around a tree. That blue metal blob used to be a truck – from who knows where.
This is the site that my husband was helping clean up. It used to be a nice, big two story home – with a gorgeous swimming pool in the backyard. You can’t tell any of that now.
Down the street my husband met another family. They were visiting,for the first time, what was once their home. They were simply hoping to find one treasured item in all the rubble – their baby girl’s piggy bank. They found it – unharmed – and they were happy.
As we drove on another side of town, my heart continued to grow heavy, and we tried hard not to cry in front of our children. Then we ran across these two homes that actually made us chuckle. And I was reminded that even though it appeared that all was lost here, it wasn’t. Although these particular residents had lost everything materially, they hadn’t lost their sense of humor – and I laughed.
Spray Painted on what remained of this home was “2 Bed 2 Bath, Open Floor Plan, 6 Car Driveway, Spacious Living Room, Make An Offer, No Low Ballers”
This One says ” FOR SALE, AS-IS, NO WARRANTY, OPEN FLOOR PLAN”.
The children and I couldn’t volunteer in the middle of the actual destruction areas. We had to leave that part up to my husband, and I am so proud of him for helping! It’s definitely not an area meant for children. It is hard to breathe – there is debris flying all in the air, including particles of fiberglass and no telling what else. There are open sewer lines, and decaying matter, and it smells so bad in some of the areas. Everyone who volunteers is encouraged to get vaccines prior to helping due to the possibility of a disease outbreak. My husband suffers from severe allergies, so he had to wear a respirator while working.
The babies and I stayed with the Baker Hughes volunteer team where freshly smoked BBQ with all kinds of fixings and desserts were provided free of charge to both tornado victims and volunteers.
And there’s my sweet husband. He had just finished 4 hours of helping feed BBQ to everybody and was headed out to get down and dirty with the victims of the tornado damage.
It was definitely a Memorial Day that we will never forget, and we wouldn’t have wanted to spend it any other way!