Storms, Fear, and Pride

May 22nd, an F-5 tornado that had 200 mile per hour winds, hit the town of Joplin, Mo.
Joplin High School

Joplin is about 60 miles from Springfield. Joplin is strongly connected to Springfield.

This hits home for me and for countless others in the Springfield area. My heart breaks when I see pictures from Joplin. This is a town that I visited often.

I did my after Thanksgiving and after Christmas shopping there. I played basketball at the high school. I have former students who go or went to school at Southern.

It's heart breaking!!

Last night, another chance for severe weather hit SW Missouri. Joplin was put under another tornado warning about 9 pm. As I sit on my couch wathcing the weather man talk about it, my heart was racing.

How could it happen again? How could it strike in the same place twice in 3 days?

And then my brain thought, "What if it happens here? What will we do?" I have never been one to be afraid of storms. But after I went to bed last night, I layed there listening to the rain and thunder and was almost paralyzed by fear.

Fear that I've never known before.

What if our house gets hit? What if the school gets demolished? What would I do? How would I react?

About 12:30, I was woken up by the high pitched beep of our carbon monozide detectors losing power. Our electricty had gone off. It was pitched black in our house but I got up and checked on my sweet, still sleeping, daughter.

And then it hit me...Molly was the reason I was hindered by FEAR. I am now responisble for another person' s life in a storm. She is my world and I HAVE to protect her!

123 people (so far) lost their lives in the storm that hit Joplin 3 days ago. Countless others have yet to be accounted for. They are saying it's the 8th deadlist single tornado in history.

I've never been one to be scared of storms, but I acn't help but be scared of them now.

I have been wondering what to do to help. I have an overwhelming sense of guilt that I'm not doing more to help. I've thought about skipping out on our yearly Memorial Day trip to the lake(which is awesomly flooded) and going to Joplin to help clean up.

But, to be honest, I'm not sure what I can do in that regard. I'm truly afraid that I will get over there and be overcome by grief. This is a new feeling for me. I'm not sure how to handle this.

My kids and the rest of our department has spent the last 2 weeks collecting items for the Shoebox 4 Soldiers campaign in Springfield. We've filled 24 boxes with items that range from toothpaste, deodorant, and Q-tips to Twizzlers, Slim Jims (RIP Randy Savage) and Soduku books. But after filling the 24 boxes, we had A LOT of stuff left over. Tons more toothbrushes, enough Ramon Noodles and canned food items to feed the entire army for a month...so we donated 4 big boxes tot he relief efforts for Joplin.

So the students were actually able to help the soldiers and the victims of the tornado. I am so proud of our student body!

If you want to help, there's a few things you can do....

1. Text CONVOY to 50555 (donates $10 to Convoy of Hope - a local organization)

2. Text REDCROSS to 90999 9donates $10 to the American Red Cross)

If you want more info, go to KY3.com. They have all the volunteer information, donation information and news you need!

God Bless!

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