Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Prepare to Live Meaningfully

By now most people know about one of the most deadly tornadoes to hit the U.S. Around dinner time on Sunday, May 22, a F4-F5 tornado, 3/4 mile wide, ripped and pounded through 1/3 of the city of Joplin, Missouri. The latest toll is 123 dead and 10 missing.

The city hospital took a direct hit. When the staff heard 'Execute condition Gray," they had too little time to roll patient beds into the hallways. "Just as workers were completing the precautionary steps Sunday night, the entire nine-story building was pummeled by a tornado. Glass shards exploded from every window, doors blew open, and even patients’ IV-lines were ripped from their arms..."

John Hunter writes a moving article entitled 'Storm like a giant pounding the house with his fist' for CNN.

"...we piled into the bathroom, and I threw two large pillows on top of my wife and granddaughter. I closed the bathroom door, sat on the toilet lid, and tried to un-pop my ears.

I leaped to cover our granddaughter who had gotten into the fiberglass one-piece tub enclosure. The sound was deafening. It was as if a giant were pounding the house with his fist. The swirling wind caused the entire house to shake and start to fall apart.

The roof soon disappeared, throwing ceiling sheet rock and two-by-fours on top of my head. The blown-in insulation and broken glass filled our hair and eyes. This was the slowest, most powerful storm any of us have experienced! Time seemed to slow down, and minutes turned into an eternity as we were entangled in helplessness. The girls were shivering and shaking and I was as solid as a Jell-O-filled rooster, trying to protect them with my makeshift wings...."

Hunter lists several lessons including:

- Make sure your family members know you love them.
- Prepare thoroughly for death, but prepare to live meaningfully.
- Give back as soon as you are able.Image: Hospital above
Image: Joplin destruction