My name is Amy. (Oriented to person … check)
I’m sitting in a hotel room in Springfield, Missouri. (Oriented to place … check)
It’s Thursday night. I think. Wait, let me check my phone … (Oriented to time … barely)
I can’t hold on to what day it is today. It’s becoming a bit concerning. I’m holding out hope that it’s not a sign of my impending break with reality but; instead, because time moves differently when you’re in crisis mode. Life right now does not seem to be flowing in minutes, hours, and days. Life right now is disjointed; it’s jumping from moment to moment.
Here are some of those moments. They all definitely happened today. Although it’s possible they happened yesterday. There’s also, of course, the slight possibility they happened the day before that:
- CNN filmed a live news report with the crew putting tarps on my roof as their background. I suggested to the crew that they should sing or dance – they did not. Sadly, fame is apparently not for them. One of them said they should hold up a FOX News sign. That would be hilarious … on someone else’s roof.
- Our neighbor’s Escalade was demolished. I’m not sure what landed on it but it was big – possibly a tree or another car or a house. However, two of the Escalade’s windows remained unbroken. Truly it would have been irresponsible to leave those windows untouched, so my husband and the neighbor (the owner of the Escalade) dutifully picked up bricks (bricks formerly of the neighbor’s house) and threw them into the remaining windows. Neighbor’s Wife and I stood by shaking our heads. (Although you know if there’d been any other windows left they would have been all ours!)
- I have flown into absolute frenzies trying to salvage everything in save-it-all moments! Paperclips, dental floss, flower-shaped erasers, those little odd-shaped Lego’s that are impossible to find except when you step on them in the middle of the night – find them, save them!
- I’ve stood resigned to just leave it all. We don’t need any of it. Everything we need is up at my parent’s house most likely eating chocolate chip cookies for breakfast.
- I stood with my neighbor in her backyard looking at her decimated house. She told me how it “exploded” right after they ran into their safe room. How she had to hold the door shut. She didn’t cry when she told me about her home exploding around her family. She stood there staring at her crushed home and told her story in a matter-of-fact tone. Then, she looked away from her home and saw her daughter’s crushed Barbie house sitting in a pile of debris. That’s when the tears came. It’s one thing to look at a demolished home. It’s another to be reminded of your child’s loss.
- We helped arrest looters. The looters (aka bad guys) told a Quapaw Tribal Marshal that they were there to visit their friends. The marshal asked for their friend’s name and the bad guys made something up. Keith and I confirmed for the marshal that the made-up family did not live in our neighbor’s home. Handcuffs were placed on the bad guys. Within a few minutes, the marshal was joined by the Joplin PD, a county sheriff, and the National Guard. Bad guys should probably stay away from Joplin.
- We received phone calls, texts, Facebook messages, and emails from our friends and family around the world. Those were the moments that bolstered us for moments like this next one …
- We watched search and rescue dogs sniff around our piles of debris. We stood by not sure what to hope for in that moment.
- We found my wedding dress – dry and intact.
- We pulled up to our home to find that the huge tree in our front yard and all the debris surrounding it were chopped up and cleaned up by a friend’s husband and a work crew sent by my husband’s company.
- I felt compelled to write, my attempt to help sort these and other moments.
In the midst of all these moments, some of my friends and family have sent us donations to help us through these initial days. As soon as we’re able, we plan to pay that kindness forward to others around us in even greater need. I’ve been lost in my moments so I haven’t taken the time to thank all the angels in our life who need thanking. I will soon. But for now I hope some of them read this.