Home from Greensburg – Safe and very blessed

Thank you to everyone who has kept Greensburg in their thoughts and prayers, and I ask that you continue to do so.

My family and I are so blessed and in a very unique situation by Greensburg standards. My parents were luckily out of town when the tornado hit, and we still had a roof on the house (still can’t figure out how since the garage attached to the house was ripped apart). We drove through town approximately 4 hours after sunrise the day after the tornado hit, and I had problems identifying where Main Street was in a town I had been for 18 years of my life while growing up. My husband stayed in town and helped firefighters search for survivors while my childhood friend and I drove to a neighboring town to meet our parents. We spent the next 2 days waiting while emergency response crews went house to house and clean-up crews were getting the street clear so residents could actually make it to their houses without getting flat tires. 120 tornadoes passed through the Midwest in those two days making the weather channel the station of terror.

We were so blessed to have support from every direction possible, and we can never repay all of the generosity, love and caring that we experienced over the next week as families reentered Greensburg and started to pickup the pieces and determine how to go on. The pictures do not do justice to the devastation, and it was a time when the outside support structure had to come in because the residents were in shock and not able to help themselves for many days. Dave had to leave Sunday, but luckily he was able to come back with a friend and fellow member of our fire department Thursday.  My brother was a rock when we needed him, and I could not have asked for anything better. We were only allowed into town 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but everyday was emotionally draining and sleep at night was fitful. The Red Cross, Salvation Army, law enforcement and Fire Departments from all over the country, National Guard, Army, FEMA and many other organizations and volunteer agencies were working at light speed to keep the town fed and get things cleaned up. It was amazing how quickly clean-up efforts were underway. We had a FEMA contracted truck driver and her family come by and help folks in the neighborhood pack on Wednesday – what a blessing they were on a day when everyone was completely drained.

By Thursday evening I saw the glaze leave my folks’ eyes and I knew we could head out on Sunday safely. When the moving truck pulled away Friday (yes, we had that much stuff left), I felt a sense of relief. I drove around town Saturday afternoon one last time with my mom, and I was in awe in the transformation that had occurred in just this first week. I look forward to going back when my parents are ready to move into their temporary house while they rebuild in Greensburg. I always told my parents that things never change in Greensburg, and though the physical town is gone the spirit and strength I knew growing up is still there.

Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

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For additional pictures and some neat before and after photos please see Dave’s blog.

Thank you and God bless.

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