Saturday, June 12, 2010

When it's all gone, what do you do?

Last month, a grim and deadly parade of tornadoes blew away homes across Oklahoma. I always feel something for the people caught in the path of one of nature's most powerful forces.
I remember the panic and feeling of utter helplessness of being a breakable human as a tornado has roared nearby. I've been close to tornadoes twice in my life, and that is twice too many for my comfort.
When updates started popping up on Facebook from Tim and Julie regarding their friend Debby Kaspari, who was right at tornado Ground Zero I waited with trepidation.
When it was all over, Debby, her husband Mike and their cat Gizmo had survived the F4 tornado inside a shelter built into their garage floor. But they could see light shining in the gaps around the shelter. That wasn't right. They emerged from the shelter, and this is what they saw:

(Photo by Debby Kaspari)

Their house, their cars, their stately oak trees. Smashed or gone.
Take a moment to live in their shoes. Your house is now a pile of rubble. Your cars have large trees on top of them. Your clothes have blown away. Precious photos are shredded.
And if you are an artist like Debby, the paintings that have poured from your heart...are they still in one piece?

As the days wore on, Debby and Mike were able to collect some of their belongings, but the task is ongoing. Since they are in an unincorporated section of Little Ax, the rubble has to be removed by the homeowners. They even found some things that didn't belong to them:

This is a pickup truck that was carried from the gas station down the road...a MILE down the road. And the gas pump nozzle was laying next to it.
(Photo by Debby Kaspari)

It sounds like an insurmountable task, picking your life from the destruction. Both physically and mentally.
We build our lives cocooned in our homes, and when that home is gone, how does that feel?

The blogging community, a gathering I am proud to be a part of, is sending Debby's story out into the world and asking our readers to go to the link at the top of my blog on the right and donate to the cause through PayPal.


Mary said...

And every time I think of Debby's loss, I shudder. Well said, Susan.

Beth said...

I second what Mary said. Great post, Susan.