My Facebook post from April 27, 2012
“Today, one year later, I’m awakened by my alarm clock, not my daughter to beg me to take cover. Today, one year later, I shop for wedding dresses with her rather than huddle with her and her brother in the bathtub. Today, I am thankful. I’m thankful for neighbors that rush in after the storm. I’m thankful for a sister and a mom that opened their homes. For friends and family who helped to gather our belongings for us to move away for 99 days. A brother with connections to big chainsaws and bucket trucks. I’m thankful for my pastor whose birthday I won’t be so quick to forget again…and his wife; who helped me to remember it was that day, and who wanted to bring a hand saw to help. I’m thankful for our house of worship where we met that weekend and I truly worshiped like no other time before “unplugged”. I’m thankful for a brother-in-law and a brother that know how to build things. A husband that’s quite handy to have around too. And for a sister-in-law that knows how to pack things. Today, one year later, I’m thankful for blessings and blue skies, for my job that allows me summers off, for Alfa Insurance; yes I said it, and little baby ducks, old pickup trucks, slow-moving trains, and…wait… that’s Tom T. Hall. Most of all, I am most thankful for His promise, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” ~ Psalm 91:1”
Today, April 27, 2017, I wake up to a sprinkling of rain. I’m always a little anxious on this day, I still get very nervous just thinking about it, but on rainy days just a bit more. After being huddled in the tub with your two children, April 27 + rain = apprehension.
It was a morning of getting to sleep late because school was delayed (due to weather). Little did we know, school would be DELAYED. Anna, my oldest, came to me and begged me to take cover with her and her little brother, Noah. I relented, painstakingly. Everyone knows I like to sleep. We all climb into the bathtub, and I realize this is REAL. We hear absolute quiet, and then just as quickly as it turned quiet, it became very loud. We could hear the house being hit by the trees, crashing in, rain pouring in. I spread my body across the kids as best I could. Anna was on her cell phone, receiving texts, talking to her Aunt Delana. Noah yelled, “Pray momma!” Anna yelled, “Get on top of me too!” I couldn’t reach her as well as I could him, I couldn’t pray with words. If ever I needed intercession from the Holy Spirit it was right there. And then it was over. We walked out of the bathroom to find a mess. Neighbors, whose homes were not as badly damaged, rushed over. Noah grabbed every towel he could find. He wanted to save the piano, of all things, which he did. My sister sends her husband with a chainsaw. Tony makes it home from work to see the devastation. We walked out of there alive, unharmed. Many people had much more damage than we did.
250+ people lost their lives that day as multiple tornadoes ripped our state apart. Later that afternoon another one twisted its way through a community close to home and took many. Today, we remember and pray for the families that had their lives ripped apart.
No TV for 16 days, so we only knew what we heard or read on Facebook. No electricity for 9 days, thank God for generators. Gas was hard to find to run the chainsaws, but we were thankful for what little we had. What was left of our home ended up in the cul-de-sac. The neighbors loved us.
It took a lot of people and a lot of work to put our town back together, but we did it. It’s more beautiful now than it was before.
“Oh sing to The Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things!” (Psalm 98:1)