After the May 3, 1999 tornado, I thought our lives had changed forever. But never did I imagine it could happen again. But it did.
The weather men told us to be weather aware last Monday. In fact, they told us like three or four days ahead of time. They even said it was gonna start getting dicey around 2pm. Unfortunately, I didn't really listen to them. If I had there are a lot of things I might have done differently that day....like pick my kids up from school and go to my aunt's house to an underground shelter. But I didn't listen. At 2:30 that day, I was IMing my co-worker in SC and sent an email to my boss that I was going to get off line for a bit so my computer wouldn't get fried during the storm.
The next 30 minutes would again change my life. Tony was taking a nap. When he got up, we decided to turn the TV to the weather and that's when the tornado started forming in Newcastle. Tony left to try to pick up the kids and as soon as he walked into Ashton's school, the sirens sounded. The school refused to let him check her out. He knew he would run into the same issue at Quinn's school. So he came back home to me. I was working to get the pets in their crates and get proper clothes and shoes on....one thing we've learned in Oklahoma is to put on real shoes...if you have to walk around in debris, you don't want to be wearing flip flops.
Tony and I actually still had time to either go South out of the path of the tornado or to my aunt's shelter. But we just couldn't do it. I couldn't leave knowing that my kids were at their schools. We watched the weather from our bedroom and I gathered up all of our "important" things and put them in our safe place...the toilet room in our master bathroom.
When the time came, Tony and I closed the door, sat in the floor and continued listening to the news until the power went out. We prayed. We begged. We said our last "I love you"s to each other. And then we could hear it. We could hear the house creaking and feel it shaking. We could hear the roar as if it were in our backyard. And to think that we were about a 1/2 mile away from it.
And as horrible as that 30 minutes felt, it was only the beginning. The damage to my town is devastating. But we will recover and we will rebuild. It's been a week and the clean up has started. We will continue to need all the prayers, strength and support we can get.
My story is nothing like those of the families who have lost loved ones or their homes were destroyed. But I thought I would go ahead and tell it.
Sunset on the Beach
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