Sunday, February 24, 2008

Some "Sandwiches" Are "Open-Faced"

My friend Dede has recently been thrust into an "open-faced sandwich situation." On February 5th, an EF-4 tornado hit the town of Clinton, Arkansas, where her mother and her 102-year-old grandmother reside. The tornado hit her mother's house. This is how my friend, who lives some 45 miles away in another town, described it:

"Mom was trapped by debris, but thankfully both came out with only a few bruises. The winds sucked Mom through the hall and to the back windows. Then the roof came down on top of her. She crawled out and to the front windows and started yelling for help. Almost every window in the house was blown out, and in some cases, the entired window is gone. There was glass everywhere, but neither Mom or Mammaw got cut, and didn't even have it [glass] in their clothes. God is Good!!!!!!!! Due to the weather, and no heat or lights, they had to put Mammaw in a nursing home (I don't think that she realizes it yet), but Mom is making it OK with that decision. One of the car dealerships in town gave Mom a car to drive - came to my aunt's house and handed over the keys for as long as she needs it.

I have never witnessed such and outpouring of kindess. I have heard from so many friends. They have called, come by and even left goodies at my door. The clean up is almost finished thanks to a lot of good folks. Angels I think. I am so blessed..we didn't lose a lot of things, but the devestation was something else. I will send pictures when I recover. It has been a long two days with atleast two more to go. Thank goodness that Jim is handling all the insurance stuff...I don't know what i would do if I didn't have a son that was so capable. Casey, my daughter-in-law, has kept me going. At times all I could do was just stand and be overwhelmed at the task at hand.

You just can't imagine how tough it is to see your home in shambles! Tornadoes do weird things. We have seen playing card drilled into the sheetrock. Sheetrock stuck between the brick and the house itself. I even found another card in one of the kitchen cabinets which were closed!!!!!! It is stuck in the wood at the top of the cabinet!

The first photo is of the living room - Dede said a table was sucked out the window, but the two chairs were not moved. The other photo is her mother's car, underneath debris... they have no idea where the carport is... it never was recovered.

In the weeks since, the house has been inventoried, Dede's mom and grandmother have moved in with an aunt, and the plan is to bulldoze the house, which was home to this family for more than 30 years. I don't know if they even know at this point whether Dede's mom will rebuild. I'm guessing she is about 80. So the challenge for my friend and her 28-year-old son is to help her mother AND grandmother with the recovery from this trauma and loss. Certainly this was something NO one could have anticipated. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this family and to the countless others across north-central Arkansas who suffered devastating losses and injuries in this killer storm.

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