CNN features a story written by Joplin High School senior Lydia McAllister, a member of the staff of the school newspaper, The Spyglass:
When most of it was over, we couldn't see much. My dad walked to the bottom of the stairs and looked up into what should have been our home, but it was gone. It was just sky. He cleared a path through the debris so he could stand in what should have been our living room. I'll never forget that image of him, the sky above him illuminated with lighting more raw and powerful than I'd ever seen. The tears that streamed down his face let me know it was so much worse than I had thought.
The days that followed were some of the hardest. We made trips back and forth to the house where we stayed. We salvaged what we could and picked apart the rubble that used to be our home. Old toys and school work I hadn't seen in years resurfaced and other things, I'll never see again. The stuff I really wanted, you could never find.