I watched the news coverage for the massive tornado that hit Oklahoma today. Specifically, the city of Moore. I watched the entire almost-40-minute-long storm as it ravaged the town, mowing over houses, schools, hospitals, throwing them up into the air alongside people's possessions as if they were nothing more than insignificant pieces of dust in the wind. I was numb the whole time. And I watched as it roped out, dissipating so quickly that the suddenness of its departure left me in pure shock. I mean, how could something that massive, that destructive just disappear in such a quick instant, as if saying "My work here is done" and just up and going, not bearing a single thought to what it has left behind?
And then came the images of the destruction that the storm left in its wake.
Category EF4. Up to 200mph winds. Possibly a category EF5 at times. The single most devastating tornado to have touched the ground recorded in human history.
Entire neighborhoods flattened to the ground, nothing but piles of boards remaining where houses once stood. That is, if they were lucky. In a lot of cases, nothing but the concrete foundation remained. And in some even more unfortunate instances, not even that was left. To reference what a reporter said, it looked like a massive bowling ball just mowed through the town, tearing up everything in its path. Another thing that really got me is that one house could be entirely demolished while their next-door neighbors' house could be entirely fine, appearing fairly unscathed. And then came the news of the schools, and that several children were still trapped inside one of them. The death toll numbers started to trail in. And they grew. And grew. And grew. The current number? 51.
That includes children.
So, what is the real purpose of this journal, other than to inform you of this event if you haven't heard about it already?
I want to share that, even in the most hellish situations, even when all things are literally falling apart, that hope always remains and that real-life heroes, everyday Guardians do exist. You have the firemen, the doctors, the law enforcement. All the first responders. The community people who help one another out in literally picking up the pieces of their lives that have been strewn out across the earth. In such destruction, there remains an incredible amount of humanity.
The people who stand out to me the most are the teachers of those schools. I have heard story after story of how a teacher threw themselves over the children in order to protect them, and those children made it out fairly unscathed. Everyday Guardians of Childhood.
Now, who will be their
Guardians? Who will protect them
It is now that I present to you another purpose behind this journal. I would like to ask each and every one of you to keep these tornado victims and their families all in your hearts and thoughts. Draw a picture. Write a letter. Spread love on dA to those you know have been affected in some way or form. Please support them in any way or form that you can, even if it's just sparing them a thought. Let them know, even if it's just a feeling, that they are loved, that they are not alone, and that there are Guardians all over the globe watching out for them, too.
My direct letter to those who have been affected (either directly or indirectly) by these events in Oklahoma. I'm so, so sorry. I know that words really can't replace a hug or some sort of action, and you're probably very used to hearing these words by now. But I guess that one more time, one more person can't hurt. Please cry as much as you need to, lean on others without shame, and please, for the love of all things bright and beautiful, stay safe...Cause we are
We are shining stars
We are invincible
We are who we are
On our darkest day
When we're miles away
So we'll come
We will find our way home
If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground