Posted by: Caleb | May 23, 2011

the house i grew up in

At approximately 6 pm yesterday, Sunday afternoon, my brother called me. He was frantic, telling me that a tornado hit my parents’ house, and that my mother and my younger sister were in the house when it hit.

The bottom fell out of my world.

After getting off the phone with my brother, I made contact with my older sister in pretty short order; she was out of the path of the storm, and was okay. I then spent close to two hours trying to make contact with my parents. I must have tried my mom, dad, and my younger sister’s phones a hundred times, without getting through. When my phone rang, and it was my dad, it was too much. I can’t quite describe how good it was to hear his voice; I talked to both my parents at this point. They told me that everyone was safe, and uninjured. After getting off the phone with them I just broke down. It was the most stressful hour and a half I’ve ever experienced.

My parents’ house doesn’t have a basement. My mom and my 14-year old sister and their dog were hunkered down in a pantry under the stairs when the tornado hit. My dad was at Wal-Mart, and didn’t have any signal in the middle of the store. My brother was out of the path of the tornados, and was fine, along with his girlfriend.

The tornado was estimated by some to be a mile wide, and to have touched down for 2-3 miles. In a news story my wife read last night, it’s estimated that the tornado will be classified as a class 8-9 on a 10-point scale.

The only thing I can think to say is God is good; my family is safe. I don’t care about the house. It can be rebuilt. My family members can’t be.

My wife and I are going to Joplin today or tomorrow. If you’re interested, follow me on Twitter (@deerbelac). I’ll be posting updates there when I can, as well as on Facebook, and here on my blog if I have access to the Internet.

Here’s what my parents’ house looks like now:



  1. Caleb—-please let us know what the needs are once you get to Joplin and talk to your parents. We will do whatever needs to be done. love you all.

  2. so sorry caleb, praying for you guys.

  3. So glad everyone is ok. Call me if you need something.

  4. Please let me know if there is anything you need.

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