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mountaindreamer
05-09-2011, 09:42 PM
hi everyone,

i have not been around for several weeks now. My help was needed to get our family business back on track, so i have been really busy helping at the office in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

while here, the tornado hit almost 2 weeks ago, and cut a 1/2 mile wide hole through my home town....it was just heart breaking. all of my family and our businesses are ok, but there are so many people here who have lost everything. the tornado entered on the southwest corner and first hit a public housing neighborhood where many children were outside playing....we lost several children in this area. then the tornado went close to the university of alabam campus, destroying older homes and university apartments. we lost some elderly and some college students in this area. then it just tore through the central hub of the town, and kept tearing apart everything as it finally passed through the northeast corner. it barely missed a nursery school where many children were huddled in the hallway, but it hit a pizza place accross the street where 3 children were lost while at a birthday party.....so hard to accept some of these losses. we have lost over 40 people and over 80 are still missing.....military helicopters pass over each day going to the wooded areas and dropping military troops into the wilderness looking for more bodies....i stop and say a little prayer every time one passes over. my family has been helping churches, businesses, and friends in an effort to clean up the destruction, to provide housing, storage and supplies, and to start rebuilding our little town. I have been focusing on collecting supplies for the humane society, and providing medical supplies to the local "good samatarian clinic."

i struggle through each day, because my lupus does not care that others need my help, but i keep going, and will rest when everyone has a shirt on their back, food on their table (when they get one), and a home to start a new life.

we have had tornadoes in this area for as long as i can remember, but nothing like this one....it truly looks like an atomic bomb went off here. but, the people of this town are amazing...before the officials could even make their way to the desroyed areas, university students were pulling the elderly out of the rubble and carrying them for miles seeking medical help. Anyone who could help were doing so, we were providing medical attention in the middle of the streets, and we were having to respectfully cover the deceased until vans could get in to remove the bodies. people were firing up their grills (no one had electricity), and cooking meals for the victims and those helping, people were showing up with clothes and anything that the victims might need. and people were opening their homes to strangers for a night's rest. i am so proud of everyone here.....we pulled together and we will pull out of this disaster.

anyway, sorry for the dissertation....just wanted to say hi, i miss all of you, and i promise that i will be back once my town is recovering, and once my family's business has weathered this last obstacle.

sorry that i don't have time to read the posts and catch up with everyone....i hope all of you are doing ok, i think about you all, and look forward to reuniting with my "family of the sky".

peace and good health to everyone.

kim,l
05-10-2011, 12:25 AM
dear phyllis i am so sorry you and your town are going through this i was saddened to hear of the loss of children hope everything gets better and you are certainly a kind caring person that i am glad to call my friend my thoughts and prayers are with all of you hugs kim l

Nonna
05-10-2011, 03:02 AM
We understand completely. I've sent stuff to Tuscaloosa to help since I can't go. Do what you can, be who you are. We'll see you when you get back. Call me when you are back. I go to my son's on the 20th for s few days.

Hugs and love
Toni

SandyR
05-10-2011, 06:43 AM
(((HUGS))) I was so sad to hear of the tornado but now that I have a face that I have come to love tied to it, I am really just heart-broken for your friends and family. Especially those with little ones still missing. You're in my thoughts and prayers and so is your whole town. If there's something specific I can do from up here to help, please let me know. Is there a local organization taking donations?

Peridot20_Gem
05-10-2011, 06:50 AM
Hello Phyllis,

Nice to hear off you but not under such bad circumstances, it's so good of yourself to put yourself a side and help your home town first and people.
(( All my deepest thoughts are with you)) xxx


(((To all those who have sadly paced away RIP from we all from WHL)))

http://images44.imikimi.com/image/1aDgk-11S.jpg?height=640&scale=max&width=640 (http://imikimi.org/link/link_through/1aDgk-11S)

rob
05-10-2011, 09:25 AM
I was thinking of you the other day Phyllis, and was wondering how you were doing. I'm very glad to hear that you and your immediate family are OK. If you have not done it already, reach back, and pat yourself on the back for all that you are doing to help others in their time of dire need. And you are doing these things despite Lupus, that's really something special. Dealing with disaster, and the casualties that result, will test the toughest of people. Dealing with the dead on a small scale can be very difficult, dealing with it on a large scale can be devastating. If you ever need to talk, just let me know.

If there is any good that comes from such horrible events, it's the fact that the worst of circumstances bring out the absolute best in the people who are involved. Please be careful, and don't forget to take care of you along the way.

Rob

tgal
05-10-2011, 09:49 AM
I agree with Rob. The worst of situations does tend to bring out the best in most people. I am so glad to know that you and your family are OK. I have been watching about those on TV and they look so bad there but I know that in person it must be heartbreaking.

I know you are working on getting the business running but please try and take care of yourself. There is only 1 you and you can't help anyone if you are not here

lacey50
05-10-2011, 12:04 PM
Phyliss,
Thanks for the update. My prayers and thoughts are with all of you. Besure to call and let me know when you get back home, or if you need to vent or just talk, while you are there, give me a call any time. Take care of yourself and God Bless all of you.

Sue

Saysusie
05-10-2011, 05:53 PM
Hi Phyllis;
I watched, with sadness and shock, the reports about the tornado, the damage, the lives lost, and those still missing. It is, as you said, heart wrenching. I admire you and your family for all that you've done and are doing to be there for those in need. At this time, when you heart is so filled with the well being of others, you will find that you will have the strength and resiliency that you need to continue this work. You are doing so much that is so valuable and, I am sure, so very, very appreciated.
Just make sure, when you return home, that you give yourself plenty of down time in order to allow your body to rest. I am sending you and your family my prayers.

Peace and Blessings
Namaste
Saysusie

Oluwa
05-10-2011, 08:33 PM
Dear God, you are our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. In the wake of storms and natural disasters in the south, midwest and through out the world.... and they have come in many....reveal your presence so that all may know your healing, hope and love. As one community on earth bound together by your grace....inspire us to pray, serve, and help all those who suffer. God Bless the communities, Phyllis, her family....Thank you, Heavenly Father....Amen

Be safe Phyllis..love and hugs...Me.

busymom3
05-10-2011, 08:49 PM
I have been praying for all the people affected by these tornadoes. I am so sad about all the people that lost their lives. Please know that you and yours are in my prayers.

magistramarla
05-10-2011, 09:39 PM
Phyllis,
My heart goes out to you, your family and all of those poor folks who are dealing with that horrible tragedy.
I'm glad that you are able to help, but please take care of yourself, too.
Thinking of you.
Hugs,
Marla

BonusMom
05-10-2011, 09:52 PM
Hi Phyllis-

It's so good to hear from you. I'm so sorry for the tragedy that has struck your community. It looks absolutely horrific from the newscasts. The devastation brought tears to my eyes as I thought of those that lost loved ones and all of their possessions in just seconds.

While you are so busy taking care of others in their time of need, please remember to take care of yourself, too.

mountaindreamer
05-13-2011, 03:20 PM
thank you all for your kind words.

i am actually on a 3 day escape so that my tired body and mind can rest for a bit. I found out some additional information this week: 20,000 homes were destroyed; 50,000 people are homeless (our town only has 95,000); and the tornado was 1/2 mile wide when it entered the town, as it passed through, it picked up debris, and was 1 1/2 mile wide when it left....a huge pissed off storm blew through on that afternoon.

i have adopted the local charity medical clinic as one of my "donation children." The "Good Samaritan Clinic" provides medical services to those in need, and they have been setting up weekend clinics in the worst hit areas. They really need reading glasses and $5.00 walmart gift cards. The drs. at the clinic are amazed at the number of people who lost their glasses in the storm, and they don't have the money to buy more. Also, the clinic provides some medications, but sometimes the patients have to go to walmart to get prescriptions filled at $4.10 per prescription.....people lost their money, jobs.....hell, they even lost their mailbox for receiving paychecks. so, i am making it a personal project to gather glasses and walmart gift cards.....if any of you have any reading glasses sitting around your house, or if you are able to buy a $5.00 walmart gift card, please mail them to:

The Good Samaritan Clinic
3880 Watermelon Road
Northport, AL 35473

thanks for all of your prayers....they DO work. I am going back Monday, and will be there for the next 2 weeks, then i think i will take a break. Can't wait to catch up with each of you soon.

magistramarla
05-14-2011, 08:53 PM
Phyllis,
You're doing good work, sweetie. It's so heartbreaking to see the devastation that happened there, and now with what is happening along the Mississippi River.
It is a really tough spring for so many people.
Take good care of yourself, too.
Big Hugs,
Marla

tgal
05-14-2011, 09:11 PM
I have become heartbroken over what is going on with the Mississippi as well! All those poor people whose home will be flooded so other people can be saved. It just seems wrong somehow but I have to assume that they know what they are doing. My thoughts are with everyone that has been harmed during these events.

magistramarla
05-14-2011, 09:24 PM
Mari,
I grew up within sight of the Mississippi and I remember very well the flooded basements and loss of a few crops every spring, but this is by far the worst that I've ever seen. I'll need to check with my cousin about how Golden Eagle and Calhoun county have fared. That was where my mother's family had originally homesteaded, and it was very close to the river. I had a great-uncle who ran the ferry, which was the only way to get to Golden Eagle. My best childhood memories are of that beautiful, but dangerous river.
Marla

Peridot20_Gem
05-15-2011, 08:05 AM
Hi Phyllis,

I am sorry for the amount of people who have lost their homes but i glad you've taken notice of your own body as well needing a rest.

It's just so bad how these things are happening all over the world and so many lifes being lost.

((My thoughts are deeply with you phyllis)) xxxxxx