If you follow me on Twitter, you already know.
Yesterday what is being estimated as an F-4 Tornado hit Parkersburg, Iowa. Our hometown.
Our town. The place where we grew up. The community where we know the neighbors and the businesses and the streets.
Or at least, we did. From what I’ve heard, even natives don’t know the streets now.
The school is gone, the middle ripped out leaving only a shell to stand as Command Center. The Kwik Star is gone. The restaurant is gone.
And the homes… gone. Jared’s mom and dad’s house. His brother and sister-in-law’s house. Gone. Literally. A pile of rubble standing where a home was yesterday morning.
The pictures. The china. The dining room table that was her grandmother’s.
My family is safe. One of my best friend’s babies was taken to the ER last night, and that’s all that I know. The last count I heard was 5 dead, 15 injured.
Dead. Injured. Gone.
I can’t even tell you what an eerie feeling it is to hear about your Home being ripped apart, destroyed, from 1400 miles away. To frantically try to get someone on the phone. To watch your husband hold back tears as he listens to his mom cry “it’s gone. It’s all gone. Everything is gone.” To scour the web for reports, hoping for a picture or video or sound. Something to tie you to it. Something to connect you to the people who are hurting.
Your people. Lost. Torn. Broken. Clinging to one another in relief as they find people alive.
I know I should be grateful because my family is safe. I can still say I have pictures of my babies. My life is safe. Untouched.
And I am overwhelmed with guilt.
It is not enough for me to be safe. My community is hurting, it’s heart has been ripped out. I shouldn’t be OK. I shouldn’t be 1400 miles away. I shouldn’t only know of this devastation through reporters and grainy footage.
I need to know. I need to see. I need to hold them in my arms. I need to plow through the wreckage beside them.
Those are my people. That is my town.
Even from 1400 miles away.