Thursday, April 28, 2011

heartbreak

Words cannot express how heartbroken I am for the families of the victims of yesterday's storm.  As I watched the storm live on TV yesterday, it was like I was watching a movie.  Not a town just 35 minutes from my house.  Not the town my husband lived in for years while he was in college and grad school.  Not the town my sister-in-law lives in (she's safe). Not the town we spend many fall Saturdays tailgating. Not the town my friend Nicole* lives in and people we tailgate with.  Not the town where Danny asked me to marry him. What I saw on TV could NOT be that town.

But it was.  And it hurt.  Not because of all the things I mentioned, but because people's moms, dads, CHILDREN, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, friends, and classmates were in the middle of all of that.  And many didn't make it out.  (And not just in Tuscaloosa -- many areas across the South.)

My heart has broken over and over, and I am still completely shaken by the images.  I don't even personally know anyone who lost their life in the storm, so I can't begin to imagine the heartbreak the families of the victims are experiencing.  My prayers are with them.

I woke up this morning feeling completely helpless.  It was almost like I was in a zone and lost all my common sense on how I could help.  I recovered some of that sense this morning as I was dropping my daughter off at preschool.  Her school had already begun a partnership with a local mission.  They're collecting items and taking them over as they get them.

Many are wanting to help but don't know how.  Here's a great resource on al.com that's constantly being updated.  It's a good list and gives options for those who don't necessarily live in a place that was directly affected.  If you'd like to volunteer your time, go to HandsOnBirmingham.org.  You'll sign up to be a "Tornado Volunteer," and they'll contact you if you're needed.  I know some of you aren't anywhere near any of this but are wondering how you can help.  There's always the Red Cross and organizations like it where you can donate.

This is an overwhelmingly devastating time, and the best thing we can do is be there for one another.

*  Nicole, I tried calling you and your voicemail is full -- please call me.  I know you're okay because someone posted on your Facebook page that you were, but I'd love to hear your voice.

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