On behalf of Vicki and myself, we would like to extend a word of thanks to all the concerned people who have called and e-mailed, sending their thoughts and prayers for us and our extended family at Sandstone Gardens. By the grace of God, our establishment was spared along with our employees and their families.
From California to Long Island, the phone calls kept coming. The only redeeming quality in this disaster was to be reminded of the many lives you have touched and became entwined with; to see the outpouring of human kindness one to another in Joplin’s unparalleled time of need.
As I write, it has been 18 days since the tornado hit. Photos and news cast can’t begin to document this devastation! In many parts of Joplin, it’s as far as the eye can see. “The enormity of it” is a phrase I’ve often used.
As I drive down 20th street, knowing what once was there, I can only describe it as a desert. The sand has been replaced by rubble; masses of splintered 2×4’s, sheet metal, roof shingles, etc. The cactuses are trees, their arms and limbs truncated, looking to the sky as to wonder why. The boulders are masses of metal and steel, once automobiles; twisted chess pieces of nature’s sport. Here I am falling into the trap of trying to describe something that everyone who has witnessed knows is indescribable.
For those of you in the faith, I would encourage you to keep sending your prayers for the manifold needs that need to be met. I would especially encourage you to remember the families of those countless lives that have been lost. Some of these families, even in their darkest hour, have been able to take that first step of “closure”. Their loved ones recovered and identified; their spirits laid to rest.
The grim reality of this morass is that many will not be able to take that first noble step. The translation of their loved one(s) many never be more than it already is; a nebulous gray area, always circling around them; wondering and pondering, as they are forced to yield to these councils of delay. I ask that you lift these spirits up, as if they were your own.
If you would like to contribute to Joplin’s disaster relief, you may do so by visiting the following website. Just click here http://rebuildjoplin.org/donate. This website has various organizations to choose from.