Tuesday, May 10, 2011

An Unconventional Mother's Day.

On most Mother's Days, we head to church, then come home, take a nap, and then Dr. C makes dinner for me.  This Mother's Day was quite different.

We went to church, but then Dr. C and most of the adults left after sacrament meeting to go help with tornado cleanup.  Since I'm in charge of the Primary, I (and some other adults) stayed to do our regular schedule.

Dr. C working hard to clear away trees and limbs.  Isn't he handsome??
After church, instead of heading home to take the usual Sunday afternoon nap and have Dr. C cook for me, the kids and I headed out to Webster County, MS to help with the clean-up too.  You might have heard of this small town--East Webster High School was hit pretty hard by a tornado.  I had seen the pictures...but they didn't prepare me enough for the enormity of the destruction. 

It was incredible.

Just one of the many big trees that were completely uprooted.
I had a hard time taking pictures because no picture can help someone really understand just how utterly devastated these areas are.  If you zoom out...you get a better idea of the grand scale of the tornado path, but you lose the fact that these are individuals' homes and lives.  If you zoom in to get the details--the book stuck in the mud, the TV smashed to pieces, the smashed Easter basket full of Easter grass, insulation and glass shards--you lose the idea that it wasn't just ONE house...it was many, many houses.  And this was just in rural Webster County, MS...I can only imagine what Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Smithville, Mississippi--where huge swaths of the city were wiped off the map, look like in real life.  The pictures are bad enough.

This pile of rubble was a double-wide mobile home.  It was picked up and flung into the street.  FEMA came through and bulldozed it out of the way to clear the street--and in the process discovered the homeowner trapped in the wreckage with a broken neck.  Amazingly, after surviving the tornado and almost being bulldozed over, the man is still alive, but in the hospital.  Notice the mailbox is still standing. 
That's the randomness of a tornado for you.
Simply heartbreaking.

Part of East Webster High School

Another part of the High School--check out how the basketball hoop is outside the building, on the roof.  And I think that big black piece is from the roof of the brick building above...keep in mind that these two buildings are at least 200 yards apart.  Crazy.

And so the kiddos spent Mother's Day hanging out in the van watching movies...while Dr. C and I, along with many others of the Mormon Helping Hands crew, spent the day hauling away trees and debris for FEMA to come pick up. 

I have no idea what FEMA is going to do with it all.

Despite the unconventionality of it--giving up my nap and dinner seems like such a small price to pay when others so close to home have lost everything.

I'd say it was a Mother's Day well spent.


Kristin said...

Wow - amazing. I have been rethinking my emergency preparedness, but really - nothing could prepare you for that!

Amy said...

wow!! Those pictures are insane. I'm glad to see more photos of what Dustin saw on Sunday. It was an interesting and memorable Mother's Day-really a special Mother's Day!

Amy said...

P.S, do you mind if I use some of your photos on my blog to show my family?

krlr said...

I'm thoroughly impressed - with your volunteering and (in a sad way) with the damaage. But really? Most impressed with the fact that your kids stayed in the car so nicely.

Carrie said...

Ha! Notice that I kind of glossed over that part...to keep them happy, they had a full-sized bag of Doritos, cookies, a new box of goldfish, pretzels, and all the movies they wanted to watch. Even with all that, Miss B still shed a few tears. :)

my family said...

how devastating. pictures do no justic I know from Katrina... so great you all were able to help. I told my hubby I want to go...wish I had help with the kids so I could

Are you in MS?

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