I am flaming mad. I rotate emotions surrounding the 12/26/15 tornado and it’s aftermath, but right now, I am flaming mad. And not about the tornado itself, or even the damage that it did. I am mad because the world has moved on and seemingly forgotten what happened. But the damage remains.
I am most mad at the world that is right close by, the one I live in and inhabit every day. The one that knows better than to have forgotten. Because all any one of us has to do is drive about 5 miles from where we live, and there will still be houses in pieces in once whole neighborhoods. There will still be roofs that have tarps on them. Debris that has infiltrated the landscape. And lives that are forever changed. How on earth could all of this be forgotten so easily?
I am also bone tired. I am tired because I feel like I am hitting a brick wall asking for donations for our tornado relief center, one of two that remain from the many that started. I am tired because I am one of only a few people that shares out my posts about needing items. And we DESPERATELY need items. I would not ask if there was not need.
I am tired because I am so very small trying to do something very big, and I feel like there are so few of us left to do it. I love the ones I am trucking with, I feel like I have met new kindred spirits. But they are tired too. Because we are fighting a battle very few people know is even going on.
Where are all the things that people had to give when the tornado aftermath was new? Where are all the people who wanted to donate their time back then? The need is no smaller, and it is only slightly different, it is just that time has passed and people have gone on with their lives. And forgotten. Even people right nearby. Why are my pleas and the pleas of the few still going falling on deaf ears? I know we sound like a broken record, but it is a record that still needs to be played.
The thing about long term recovery is that it is just that. Long. Long isn’t one month. It isn’t two months. Best estimate from those who have walked this path before is two years. TWO YEARS. We are not even at the 6th month mark, and already all the initial enthusiasm and giving has dried up and gone. And the second wave of help has as well.
So I am flaming mad and bone weary and my house never got hit. I am just a volunteer trying to help. I do not have to deal with the day to day reality of losing a home, or part of one. I do not have to deal with living somewhere else, maybe multiple other places. I do not have to deal with insurance companies, and contractors, and the all sorts of other things trying to rebuild or start again. I do not have to deal with not having money to rebuild because I was not insured, under insured, or frankly even well insured but it is still not enough because it isn’t that simple. So if I am tired and angry I can’t even begin to fathom what must be going through the mind of those who are dealing with all of that.
I hope they know that I have not forgotten, and my church has not forgotten, and many more of us have not forgotten. And that we are all still right there with them, with whatever we have to give.
We aren’t news anymore. But we should be. This day to day recovery process is a massive undertaking the likes of which I have never seen. But the world needs to see. The world right here in Rowlett, and Rockwall, and the DFW area need to see.
This is no sprint friends, this is a marathon. And we have miles to go. Please pray for us, especially the tornado survivors as they rebuild. Please ask what is still needed, and give what you can. And let’s not forget that this happened to us, and not to someone else.
Edit 5/20/16 – For those who have asked here is a list of what we need at The Tornado Relief Center along with address and hours. I will make a new blog post with this and a couple other places that need help this weekend.