Tuesday, September 20, 2011

oh my job, oh my job.

I'm looking through pictures of the ruin that was my neighborhood the week following the tornado. Wondering if it would be tactful to bring my laptop to work tomorrow morning to share these photos with some people.

We have a couple of big, BIG corporate people coming to our store tomorrow, and one of the reasons for their visit is to hear from the survivors about their experiences, and take notes on what to do the next time a natural disaster hits, so that the company is better prepared to help their associates.

I'm sort of excited to share my story, hoping that I can tell it in full, and that these people will actually listen to me. Also, I wonder how I can convey the total loss to them. You've all seen the photos and the footage of Joplin... but you cannot grasp how devastating it truly is without seeing it with your own eyes... smelling it...

I wonder if they'll drive through town. I would suggest that they go stand on the field at Joplin High School, and just spin in a circle. The scene from there is heart wrenching.

I have mixed feelings about this visit. I feel that it's good that they want to know how to help better. But I hope that they remember that they have real people that went through a real experience here. And that the entire city was affected. Just because their store is still up and running, and that they have employees that are fine and still working, doesnt mean that there isnt hurt and a scar on the heart of Joplin. That the tornado isnt still in the front of many people's minds. I mean, some people have to drive through it every day. We arent going to forget about it, or move on yet. And I dont think we should be expected to.

So I'm hoping for compassion here. I'm hoping that these people can feel it, the pain, the loss, and also the hope we have. I hope I dont walk into a fake smile, and empty words that try to comfort. Not only do they have associates that lost, but we also deal with customers who've lost as well. Joplin's in this together.

Should I bring pictures? I just might... "This was my home. My husband and 12yr old daughter walked away from that. And we're going to rebuild in the same place. You want to help your associates? Then just remember that we have a lot to deal with after a natural disaster. We need support. Compassion. Understanding. Be there for us. Ask how you can help. Ask how we're doing. Dont forget. Just, dont forget."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Life Update

It's almost been 3 and a half months since the tornado ripped through Joplin. I still lay awake some nights in unbelief. I can usually avoid having to drive through the middle of town, but when I cant, it still takes my breath away, and sometimes I still cry.

People are still having conversations about where they were that day. We will never forget it. I dont want to forget.

As for things moving on... they are. Slowly.

Jade's enjoying being in school, and is in the colorguard this year. Yay for parades that I cannot avoid any longer. I suppose I should have a little school spirit.

We have talked to a builder. He's given us a good idea of what to expect. He's sent us a budget list for a floorplan we've sent him. Now we're just waiting for him to get in contact with all of the appropriate people for permits and all that paperwork crap. Hopefully it will be all worked out so that the teams building our house will also be building the Newman's at the same time. That'll be so cool. :)

In October, I will be setting something up for the Art Walk. We're super excited about it. We should have pictures, and I will definately share when it's all done.

And finally: work and the holidays. They have some Christmas ornaments out. All of the candles are spicy, pumpkin and cinnamon, and fall scents that make me think of my mom's house. I found myself almost in tears tonight, while I was scanning some Halloween and fall decorations.

When we found our house last year, we were almost able to close on it before Christmas. We hoped we'd be spending Christmas in a brand-new home. That did not happen, we actually closed the second week of January. But I'd been looking forward to actually having Christmas Eve at my house this year, having the space to actually decorate, and a place I wanted to decorate. I was going to have a new Christmas tree, and smelly candles, and put out all of the cheesy Christmas cookie jars my grandmother gave me.

And now I dont even have that house to decorate anymore. I'm certainly not going to go all-out seasonal decor in THIS house. It's depressing to see all of the decorations at work, especially when I spy something that I would have liked to put in my home, knowing exactly where I wanted to put it, how nice it would look, and how cozy it would feel. But that's not going to happen for over a year. I find myself thinking that I would like to just skip the holidays this year.

And then I feel stupid. Cause it's all just STUFF! More of it wont make me happy. It doesnt make me who I am. My house and all the stuff in it, didnt define me, and I dont want it to. I get wrapped up in feeling sad and mourning all the stuff that I lost...

Sadness can blind you to what you have. You can drown in sadness, let it suffocate you, consume you. And you get to a point where you can just see the surface above you.

God always comes in, and reaches down, and pulls me out. Patiently dries me off yet again, and reminds me that I have HIM, and that He is all that I need.