The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 28, 2012

Frankie Meyer: Tornado stories should be recorded

By Frankie Meyer
Globe Columnist

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin tornado was one of the worst disasters to ever hit our area. Thousands of families were forever changed. As survivors cope with the  devastation and try to move on with their lives, they are experiencing spiritual growth and stronger relationships, as well as a greater appreciation of life and personal strengths not known before.

The tornado has affected how we see the world and the past. These experiences have become threads in the tapestry of each survivor’s life.

The post-traumatic stress has affected people in other ways, too.

Because of anxiety, some have trouble sleeping and can’t focus. Some experience agitation and can’t help their pounding heart when trying to recall the tornado or hearing others’ recollection of it. Some lose interest in activities in which they once took pleasure.  

Record your story so that it can be shared with future generations. Your memories and perspective will help descendants as they cope with their own traumatic events. Through the writing, you may also bring peace of mind and closure to yourself. For some survivors who lost loved ones, writing about the event may not be emotionally possible.   

How did the tornado affect your life? Record the details of the tornado and how it affected you and your loves ones. Your descendants will be glad that you did, for it will help them understand your life and the choices that you have made in the past year, as well as the choices you will make from this day forward.

If you have trouble writing for very long, write only a few details each day. Don’t worry about punctuation and grammar. Avoid details that could hurt those who survive, including yourself.

Suggestions or queries? Send to Frankie Meyer, 509 N. Center St., Plainfield, IN 46168, or contact: