I'm not really sure how to start this. How does one adequately describe the terrible mess of anothers life caused by destruction? Destruction that left me unscathed, untouched, unharmed? Destruction that I hope I will never see again, yet I know will pass through here once again before our time is up. Destruction that has ruined lives, yet thankfully left mine alone thus far.

Destruction that is tornadoes. And deadly. And scary.

On Saturday, John and I, along with other members of our church, helped clean up some of the aftermath of the tornadoes that touched down here just one short month ago.

To say it was eye opening experience would be an understatement. I have never before witnessed destruction caused by tornadoes, and I kind of liked it that way. Picking up trash, and sticks, and pieces of a broken fence, torn apart shingles, metal scraps, and pictures that preserve memories, seemed only minimal compared to the task that's really at hand.

The task of starting a life over. Adjusting to a family with lost members. Rebuilding a home. Starting over in every sense of the word.

I can't imagine.

But yesterday I had a glimpse into what some families are dealing with. Their lives have been torn to shreds, and I only had a small (very small) hand in helping them clean up and get back on their feet. The images seen on TV just don't compare to witnessing the destruction first hand.

It will be a long road ahead for many. And I only wish there was more I could have done. I only wish the state of Oklahoma could do more to help. A month later and some homes are still sitting there as though the tornado came through just yesterday. And it seems that all I can do, besides pick up the fallen debris, is feel sad for what was lost, and for all the things they now have to face. 

The home below is the home we focused most of our time on. Every time I'd pass this house carrying various things that were lying around, I couldn't help but wonder, why hasn't he come back to claim any of his belongings? Why hasn't he tried to un-bury his Porsche and Harley? Why is his computer still sitting on his desk as though that front room wasn't even touched by the tornado? Why hasn't he come back to get his stuff? Is it all too much to bare? 

And then I was told, just a mere week and a half ago, the lone man who lives in this home just had heart surgery, and coming back to get his stuff, and clean up his land and face the unknown just isn't an option right now. And that's when sweating in 100 degree weather was well worth it.


Joy said...

Wow, so nice that you were able to help. I can't imagine what that would be like.

AJ Candrian said...


Cynthia Lovell said...

I'm also glad you were able to help!!! I've seen what tornadoes can do when we lived in Texas; although it wasn't nearly as devastating as the ones that just went through your area. Tornadoes skip and the one that clipped the top of our house and blew trees down in our neighborhood had done devastation just two miles down the road and then cut a swathe through the forest and jumped up about 40 ft. when it went through our neighborhood. It sounded like a freight train was coming right through our house. It was Very Scary!!!

Anyway I was very proud of you two for going to donate your time to help!!!

CandiShack said...

Wow. Good post. I feel bad because for some reason or another, Jeff and I were unable to help out with any of the cleanup, so I didn't get to see this type of stuff. How surreal.