Around 2:00 in the morning, the news station declared that the danger had passed by our area and we went back upstairs and fell into a fitful sleep.
The next morning, we woke up to the news that the city of Dundee, Michigan, which is just south of us, had been devastated by a tornado. It tore through the small area ripping off roofs and tearing trees up by the roots like they were nothing but bits of paper. The government has declared the area in a state of emergency.
My parents, sister, nephew, and several close friends live just minutes away from Dundee. The small farming community where I grew up...just miles from the damage.
The tornado's also hit an area in Ohio that was very near the area that many of my other family and friends live. It was like the storms were playing hopscotch with these communities. Images like this haunt the news:
Dundee, Michigan McDonald's sign
Dundee, Michigan home damage
My heart and soul ache for those that have been impacted by these storms. When things happen like this, it makes everything else seem very trivial. I watched video of some of the damage and the entire time my stomach was in knots.
If there is one thing that I know, these towns will come back stronger than ever. Why do I know this? Because I grew up in a town just like the ones that were hit by these storms. They have heart and guts. They don't ever give up hope. They will pull themselves up by the bootstraps, do what needs to be done, and go on. That's just the way it is in a small town.
"Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”~Thich Nhat Hanh