I’ve always loved being at home with my family and have always, no matter where we lived, considered it a sanctuary of sorts, a place to relax, refuel, re-energize. Since autism has entered our lives, I also realize that home is a safe haven, a place to be who God made you to be, a place without filters. When loud strikes, you can be loud. When you need to not talk, you don’t talk. When you need to snuggle on the couch and watch the fire, with or without words, you sit and snuggle and watch the fire, and relish the moment together.
The storms which blew through central Illinois today were nothing short of devastating. At this writing, some people are still missing, but thankfully, the death toll, to the best of my knowledge, is still at zero. Reviewing the pictures, I can’t help but to think there were so many miracles happening for that to be the case, and yet, my heart still aches for the literally hundreds of people who no longer have a place to call home.
Our family, our community, is among the lucky ones. We only sustained heavy hail, minor wind damage, and an afternoon without power. However, our first hometown, the place we got our start as a married couple, our first community did not fair as well. Washington, Ill., was hit with a tornado displacing hundreds of families and flattening homes along its path. My husband and I watched in horror as photo after photo came through on facebook and we began to see parts of our first hometown destroyed. That was hard enough, but then came the picture of our apartment complex.
This was our first home; our first address as a married couple; where we got our start; where we learned to live together and love one another through it all. This is where we began to dream about the family we’d someday pour our lives into. My heart goes out to all of those affected by the storms, but those in Washington are getting extra prayers tonight, right along with extra thank yous for our own safety and this beloved place we call home.
*11-18-13 … A preliminary damage report just released indicates it was an EF-4 tornado with winds upwards of 190 mph. One fatality and 75 injuries have been confirmed. My heart is heavy for the family and all those who are now filtering through what is left of their homes in the aftermath of the storm.