Friday, May 27, 2011

56 bpm / Tornado

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I had to title it something different today.

My heart rate was 56 beats per minute today,
and it took me 4 minute and 40 seconds to give a pint of blood.

Yes, I gave blood again today.
So, this is my friendly reminder to all of you who are eligible to give blood to go and give it.

People are in need.
And we can help.

As I sat there giving blood today, my thoughts were turned towards those people who have been in the areas of the tornadoes. There are so many people injured, killed, or whose lives have been turned completely upside down and who have lost everything. I wondered if my blood could possibly go to benefit someone who was injured in one of these tornadoes. So that is where my thoughts were today.

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My parents drove out to Missouri a couple of weeks ago with one of my Uncles and Aunts. They were going out there to visit a couple of my Dad's brothers and their families and also a couple of my Mom's sisters and families. We used to live right down in South West Missouri. Granby to be more specific. We spent a lot of time in Joplin at my Uncle and Aunt's house and also at my Grandparents' house.

My parents were staying with my Aunt and Uncle in Granby and the Uncle and Aunt who drove out there with them were staying with my Uncle and Aunt in Joplin... in their guest house. They had all had dinner together in Joplin last Friday, just two days before the tornado hit. But the night of the tornado in Joplin, my Uncle Mike and Aunt Becky were at home in Joplin and my Uncle Carol and Aunt Percy were in their guest house in Joplin when the tornado hit.

Both houses were hit hard. My Uncle Mike and Aunt Becky were in their two story house in a small bathroom in on the ground floor, they could hear all that was going on outside and their top floor is mostly gone and some of the ground floor is gone, but they were better protected than my Uncle Carol and Aunt Percy. They were in the guest house preparing to join Mike and Becky for dinner. The guest house was only one level, so when the tornado hit, they ran to the center bathroom where there were no windows. They tried to get the bathroom door shut, but couldn't. The tornado tore away the roof and ceiling over their heads, so once those were gone, they were exposed to the full fury of the tornado until it passed over. They got away with cuts and scrapes and bruises on their heads, and they walked out covered in mud, and wet insulation. But were also in complete shock. Both of my Uncles' and Aunts' lives were preserved and so were my cousins' who were in their own house at the time, not hit by the tornado.

My parents could not get a hold of any of them at all after the tornado hit, so another Uncle and my Dad drove the 20 minutes to Joplin to see if they could find them and see if they were okay. They could not believe the destruction and could not get their vehicles all the way to their houses. So they had to walk the rest of the way... and when they saw the damage to both houses, they knew that it would take a miracle for our loved ones to have survived. When they found them, they were so relieved.

In the short time that we, here in Utah, were unsure of the safety of all of our loved ones out there, it was a roller coaster of emotions that ended with relief.

My parents and Uncle and Aunt drove straight through the next day to return to Utah. We were so grateful to have them home. It has been an emotional week as we have heard the reports of what is going on with my Uncle's two houses and also the reports of those who have lost loved ones in the tornadoes. My cousins have now all returned to their home in Joplin to be with their parents and each other as they say goodbye to their beautiful home. It is amazing how many people are volunteering their time and efforts to help each other there.

I feel selfish to feel such relief that our loved ones are safe. My heart breaks every time I hear another story about a family who has loved family members in this tragedy. We are praying so hard for them all and we hope they are receiving comfort and peace during this devastating time.
I know that the Lord is mindful of them all.

I have to share some of Aaron Jr's prayers over the past couple of days:

Aaron Jr:
'bless Grandpa and Grandma can't go back to the place with tomatoes,
because I don't want them to die in a tomato.'

'bless the people can rebuild everything quickly.'

Our prayers are with all who are suffering at this time...

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partypatt said...

I'm so glad that your aunt, uncle, and parents were safe through the tornado. You have already suffered enough loss in your life. It's a tender mercy that they are ok! My thoughts are with all the people affected by these horrible tornados.

Kristi said...

Their lives have been completely turned upside down.
What a miracle that they were all okay.