That's the story.
Apparently it's been 100 days today since that 'ol EF-5 came a-visitin'.
So....what does that mean?
I don't know for sure.....lots of things, I guess.
Maybe it means that things should all be fine by now because that's a long long time.
Maybe it means that we should be beyond impressed with all that's been done because that's a really short time.
Maybe it means I should blame my continued memory issues on "advanced age" instead of "tornado brain" because it's been a long time.
Maybe it means I shouldn't be frustrated at seeing tornado-fied cars still sitting in trashed parking lots because it's really a relatively short time.
Truly though....I am amazed at all this city has done in 100 days.
It doesn't really seem possible.
Cleared over 80% of the debris?
Rebuilt businesses that were FLATTENED and now are open?
Brought in almost 300 trailers and installed them into neat rows and filled them with families?
That is seriously impressive.
But really...100 days isn't that super long of a time.
It's hard for ME to believe that 101 days ago I was leaving a beautiful tropical island after celebrating my 15th anniversary with RH...and we were so ready to be home with our kids.
It's hard for ME to believe that 101 days ago I came home to my HOME and kvetched about my lost luggage.
Its hard for ME to believe that 100 days ago I said good-bye to my folks as they began their drive back to Atlanta and bustled about getting my house "party-ready" and made homemade vanilla buttercream icing for Bennett's 11th birthday party.
It's so surreal for me to believe that it was only 100 days ago (or was it 1 day? or 100000000 days? ) that I crouched over my almost 11 year old and several other kids as our house came crashing down over us and tried not to think of the fact that my 7 year old son and nephew were on the street nearby.
It's a short time.
It's a long time.
Some days are good....and some not so much.
On Saturday Bennett had his first football scrimmage of the year.
Carolyn and my niece had their 10am nachos (the breakfast of champions) while Ethan and his cousins enjoyed Mt Dew (the breakfast of champions on speed) while we watched the team play.
Bennett scored twice and sacked the quarterback, and people I didn't even know were cheering for him.
It was good.
It was a good good feeling.
Not just the pride (although I gotta admit...there was just a little bit of that!), but the camaraderie. The fellowship. The togetherness. I LOVE feeling that in Joplin....and it's so STRONG here lately.
This same weekend I went out to dinner with a friend and our kids.
She described to me how they had sat on her front porch on May 22nd and actually watched the black cloud come together and touch the ground before they ran into their basement.
I started shaking.
Goosebumps covered my body and I started shaking so hard I had to put down my drink and hide my hands.
I felt a honest-to-goodness
Then we went and had frozen yogurt and laughed with 4 little girls.
Then the Kansas City Chiefs dedicated their game to Joplin and invite our boys to come down to the field while they prayed and I cried.
Then I watched my kids play tag with our dogs in our new backyard and I smiled and felt truly joyful.
Then I looked at our transplanted tree house that my dad and step mom built
I don't know that it's going to be all that different from 102 days. Or from 127 days.
Time just passes....and eventually I think that the "rawness" gets more and more blunted.
I suppose that "good and joyful" fill more of your brain synapses then the yucky parts.
I suppose that
We---I mean I----just have to make darn sure that NONE of those "not so happy-happy" feelings ever overshadow my gratefulness.
So far they don't....because even when I find myself
crying in the shower or
crying when I see all the kids come running out of school or
crying when my
crying when someone asks me "how are you?" in a certain tone or
crying when I can't say NO to Ethan's "just one more hug?" for the 5th time or
crying when a random memory comes back to me from that night.....
I am still
It's just going to be a weird annoying kind of roller coaster where you can't get off even when you feel like you've gotten your ticket's worth.
Know what I mean?
I've been working on a sort of slide show.
I wish I were more tech-savvy and could post a link with beautiful music and automatically playing pictures....
but I SOOOOO can't.
So if you're bored (because it's
Click HERE for the music first,
Then click HERE for the pictures.
Click on "view pictures", then click on "play slide show".
I think I do these things because I don't
want to forget what God brought us through.
I want to remember how deeply convicted I felt when I realized how He had laid out a path for us....
And I want it to stay as real to me in my joyous times as it was in my overwhelmed times.
I can't really say that I want to start the all-over-body shaking thing every time I remember....
But I am sure that too shall pass in time.