yesterday was something out of twister. blake picked me up for calliegh’s graduation ceremony and after we all went for lunch. blake and i made a stop at the family video, and on the way to drop me off at dad’s house, the tornado sirens started blazing. not having lived (or spent significant amounts of time) in iowa for quite a few years, this once-common occurance unnerved me slightly. we got home and rushed inside to turn the news on.
the radar was absolutely unreal. this storm was literally forming out of nothing.  it was a green and red line snaking its way from the panhandle of texas all the way to minnesota.  but instead of moving straight east, it was moving along the line – more in a northeasternly direction.  so as a cell would pop up and produce several tornadoes, it would drag along, destroying houses for miles.  and then just as you’d think you were in the clear (according to the radar) another cell would literally appear and build within a few miles.  

there were 26 confirmed accounts of tornadoes within an hour.  half of parkersburg – where i went for one of alli’s concerts, where we raced for cross country and track, where i have several age-old friends – was reduced to rubble.  a tornado touched down a half mile from my house – blake and i could actually hear (but not see) it from my back patio – traced a line of damage for several miles…at times as wide as a half a mile.  one of dad’s podiatrist friends’ home was leveled to the ground as they were out on memorial day vacation.  what a thing to come home to.  
as i was falling asleep last night i lay pondering the magnitude the evening.  the lives changed.  the lives taken.  the ‘things’ so many people would have to reaccumulate.  the memories and mementos gone forever.  and i compared it to my experience of the same afternoon.  destruction was all around us – you could feel it in the air….but where we were was hardly even windy.  not even a drop of rain.  we could watched helplessly as massive cloud-tops passed by on either side of the house.  but we were safe.  like splitting a hair, every single cell avoided my neighborhood as if intentionally.  
i’m still processing.  i’m still praying for the lives of those who lost everything – including family members.  i’m still wondering why them and not us.  why this side of the street and not that one.  i’m still feeling like it never happened – like it was all a scene out of twister.  and what keeps rolling through my head…”he gives and takes away. but blessed be his name.”  those words hold far too much truth at times.  

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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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