Missouri, the Show Me State, reportedly so called because House Representative Willard Duncan Vandiver, declared in 1899 that, "frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me... you must show me...” has been hit hard. Our dear Mother (Nature) has been in a real fit this year and took a great deal of frustation out on the people in Joplin, Missouri.
Cars were picked up and tossed miles away, homes reduced to virtually nothing, a hospital came crushing down on its occupants. In the end, more than 130 people died and over 8000 homes and apartments destroyed. How do you recover from something like this? Complete neighborhoods were simply flung away!
In step the people from Missouri. As soon as the storm had passed, the survivors and the lesser affected were out in the streets, in their cars (where they could get around) and extended hands, food and sometimes just a should to cry on. They came out in two’s and by the truckload. With axes and blankets and a willingness to help their neighbors, they came. Some baked cookies while others packed lunches for the workers and the displaced alike.
While we often hear of looters and the dishonest ready to take advantage of that weakened lot, many, many more step up and volunteer themselves, their equipment and their hearts. A dear friend of mine just moved to a little town just south of Joplin last year and has been emailing me an eye-witness account. He’s a big “manly” man, but not immune to the heartbreak. At the end of an exhausting day of cutting down tree branches, hauling equipment in his big pick up and generally anything he can, even he can’t stop the tears. It is just not something you can imagine unless you are there.
So, I will stop now with my feeble frothy eloquence and just say to the people of Missouri, you are tough stuff, and you have indeed shown us that.