A Little Joplin Wind

Blog, Featured — By on May 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Every major news source in the country headlined a little Missouri town called Joplin yesterday. I’m from there. So are about 49,000 other people, but I’m not there at the moment. I’m about as far away from there as possible. I’m in China.

The tornado ripped through the center of the city. Destroying and damaging hospitals, schools, Wal-Mart, homes, nursing homes and churches. The latest death-toll is above a hundred. My grandmother lives in the center of the city with her new husband Clovis, whom I’ve never met because I haven’t been home in two years.

Yesterday my sister’s Facebook page read, “we can’t find Grandma”

To my relief, hours later she reports that we’ve found grandma. Hours can turn into years when you know your grandma’s home is destroyed, and you don’t know where she is. I lived in that home with her for two years while I was in college.

My mother writes:

Grandma and Clovis are here with us and alive! It’s going to be hard work but at least they are fine. They went into their closet and that was the only thing left of their house. They had to crawl out. They walked for blocks then someone picked them up and gave them a lift to his relative’s home where they were able to call us. It looks like a war zone. I’ll write more later. I love you!!!

Today my sister says:

Yeah, she [Grandma] is fine but her house is gone. We’ve been there all day looking for stuff and it’s horrible. I fell twice and all you can smell is gas. I don’t see how anyone made it out.

I’m sitting in my apartment thousands of miles away with a ball in my stomach wondering if I can go to work today. With that many dead, I know that I know someone, but I just don’t know who…yet.

My cousin, living about twenty miles away from the wreckage, found a baby photo in her backyard. She prays that the little boy in Snoopy overalls is okay.

The fragility of being human sometimes escapes me.

Here’s a photo essay by The Atlantic.

Pray for my little Missouri town.

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