I had another blog post written and ready to go, but I had a change of heart after watching all the news about the devastating tornadoes that wreaked havoc throughout the Midwest over the weekend. It didn’t feel right to post a light-hearted, holiday-themed message when there are so many people who lost their homes, their businesses, or their lives in these unprecedented storms.

As someone who grew up in a “Tornado Alley,” and has been in the direct path of a tornado on several occasions, I know firsthand how much damage they can do, and how quickly they can do it. Yet these storms were like nothing anyone has ever seen before. The number of tornadoes, and the unheard-of amount of time they were on the ground, made them likely to be the deadliest in our country’s history.

While watching the news, and seeing multiple interviews with survivors, my heart was breaking over the extent of their losses. Friends. Family members. Neighbors and co-workers. Also the loss of their livelihood. One business owner was being interviewed while standing in front of the rubble that used to be his restaurant. When asked about it, he said, “It was just a building. The business is the people.” He went on to say that his employees were like family, and he was grateful they all made it out of the building before it collapsed. Another woman exhibited an air of quiet desperation as she talked about the beauty salon she owned, which was also destroyed. “I have insurance,” she said, but added that she didn’t have the means to ride out the amount of time it would take to recover and rebuild. She expressed concern not just for herself, but for the women who worked for her.

As often happens when disaster strikes, many people pull together to pitch in and help out. That was already going on in the communities hardest hit by the tornadoes, even among those who themselves suffered injuries and losses in the storm.

What the rest of us can do is, well, anything we can that will offer some measure of the aid and assistance they desperately need right now. Donating to relief funds. Participating in food or clothing drives. And, certainly, praying for the victims, that in this season of comfort and joy they are able to find some small measure of peace. Of respite. And hope for the future.

December 13, 2021
©Betty Liedtke, 2021

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