Sorry I have been MIA. I have been busy. Really busy. As some of you may know my lovely Mr. is not only a photographer, but also a Pastor. Needless to say when our state was struck with such tragedy it was time for the church to step up and fill the need of others and do it quickly. A week ago today our church sent teams out to all the main hit areas. Our church is large and has quite a few campuses and one happens to be in Tuscaloosa where much destruction took place. I was moved to tears again and again with the devotion that the church family put into helping others. The efforts are still continuing and will continue to do so till needs are all met. I have had very little hands on time with those affected. Only a few days really. Someone must watch the children right? The time I did have has forever changed me. These are a few of the images my husband was able to take. The stories of the people who have been affected are unbelievable. I am happy they allowed us to share thier stories.
I spoke to someone who had only seen aerial images and said it was hard to know what they were looking at so it was easier to detach. That does make sense. Even being in the midst of it all it was hard to see what you were looking at. Roads where marked on plywood and the roads so people could have some sense of direction. Talking to people is when I soon realized I am looking at neighborhoods that are just like mine. Places that kids play, where people cook, it was where they lived and now it is nothing. So many just sorted through the rubble trying to find anything they could save. Very little can be saved because the tornado managed to carry items 100s of miles away. One woman I got to talk to was searching through rubble a few streets over from her own and finding her stuff. It really is surreal.
The women above were in the home below. Twelve people were in a tiny hallway. This what was left of her house, but they all made it out alive. I talked to a man who's whole family was thrown 400 yards away and they all lived, but he will never forget hearing the screams of his family as they laid trapped under rubble. He then praised God for their safety. Another man told me of his sister trying to grasp her 18 month old as they flew the air, they lived. Unfornuately not every story ended with life, but in reality after seeing the aftermath it is hard to fathom ANYONE living. That is a huge God.
I will be back out again tomorrow hopefully getting to meet more people like this. They are heartbroken, how can they not be, but in the end they are grateful. Grateful for life. I can't even count how many times that I heard that everything they had is just stuff, people is what matter. I have to agree. Ironically I blog about stuff, but it is just stuff. Pretty stuff, but not stuff that will matter forever.
This post took me much too long to write. Hard to write through tears honestly. I must say the first couple of days I felt sorry for those who lost everything. After meeting with a few of them I have nothing but hope.
I thank you for all the comments and emails I have received. Your generosity has been outstanding. I will be back to normal posting next week. I still like pretty stuff. I also hope when it is time for those to rebuild that I can be of some service. I am great at picking paint colors and such. I would love to help, just let me know when I am needed, seriously.
*For more ways to help in relief efforts you can go here.