My heart goes out to Joplin, Missouri

Hello friends sorry for the lack of posting...
I have been consumed and overwhelmed emotionally over the past 4 weeks.

My mom lives in Joplin, Missouri which is where an EF5 tornado devastated 30% or the city of 50,000 on May 22 around dinner time. She was at work the evening the tornado hit. She works at St. Johns Mercy Hospital and that is where she called me from minutes after the storm to let me know she was ok. We were out taking a walk and I had left my phone on the table. I got home to several messages from family members who live in the area and her panicked message.

To say the least I was a bit hysterical. I waited and waited in hopes that she would be able to use her cell phone again. Immediately we were on the search for some news from the area. We sat and watched the live feed from the weather channel. The broadcaster arrived within 30 minutes after the storm and was parked right outside the hospital. We watched as the newscaster broke down and cried, overwhelmed with emotion due to the mass destruction and utter devastation.

I just knew her home was gone. She lived a little less then a mile from the hospital and it seemed to be where the epicenter of the storm hit. I waited and waited until midnight rolled around and my husband had finally got me to just get ready for bed & wait for more info in the morning. Then my cell phone rang. It was my Mom. She had just walked from the hospital to her home. It was still standing. I squealed with delight. I felt better knowing that she had someplace to sleep that night and her little dog was ok too.

The day after the storm my uncles and cousin drove out to Joplin to help her. That is when the it became quite apparent that she needed to get out herself and her stuff out of her home. The roof was falling down and well the house was much more damaged then she had thought when she got home in the dark the night before.

Unbeknownst to mother nature and her plan I had booked my ticket a month before for my visit. I was to fly out to Kansas City the Wednesday after the storm. Perfect timing right ?
I think so...

I just got back Thursday evening from spending a little over 2 weeks with her. There are no words to explain what I saw. To see the devastation in person only makes you question how the death toll was not higher. The May 22 tornado has claimed 153 lives, as of Friday. It was hard to capture the magnitude with photos-it felt like you were peeking into peoples lives, which left me feeling queasy.

I have soooo much to be thankful for- I cannot even put my thanks into words. The sense of community, strangers kindness and all of the awesome volunteers that continuously amazed me.

The hospital was badly damaged, my mom's car was a loss, and her home was not safe to live in-but she is ok :)