Friday, October 28, 2011
When the line finally snaked up over the hill and descended towards our home I couldn't believe what I saw. The wooded areas that were once so beautiful were gone...debris of all kinds was scattered everywhere...in our yard, in the road. Every.single.last power pole was laid over the road and into our yards, taking the power lines with them. Everything that had once been big and tall and strong was flattened. There was a rainbow of colored barn boards in my yard...shingles were everywhere. You wouldn't believe the odd things that turned up in my yard...a baseball card, road signs, trash cans. Across the street there were no longer houses...just piles of debris. I mean debris obliterated into such small pieces you almost wouldn't know there were houses there. There was a trailer in a tree. It's contents spewed all over the place. We walked down the road and stared at the ruins of one house where a man road out the storm...trapped against a wall by his dining room table...He was sifting through debris looking anything important and I couldnt believe I was seeing him stand there. We watched as the media interviewed several people. News began to trickle in of the members of our community that did not make it. They said 13 people were dead. Thirteen in a town this size!
As the days turned into weeks our neighborhood continued to be chaotic. Search and rescue teams came through, the Red Cross brought us food, churches stopped by to see who needed what. The sound of chainsaws and the smell of smoke will forever remind me of those days. There is still SO much cleanup that needs to be done. I can't imagine that all of it will EVER be cleaned up.
I say all of that to explain why it is that Lydia throws up when a thunderstorm rolls through, even though we got out of town the night of the tornado. She didn't hear the wind or feel the house shake, but she topped that hill that day and saw that there are things so uncontrollable they can destroy your world in 2 minutes. She got to the point where she wouldn't look out the windows because she was so tired of seeing the destruction. We've gotten to where we keep all the shades closed because if you look out you can see the path over Taylors Ridge where the tornado bore down on our area. You can see the bare hills and the remains of a barn where 3 horses died. There is still a tree or two down in our yard. Every day Lydia counts the days until spring and tornado season again. She's panicked. I'm debating taking her to a counselor because even now she wants to know the plan. What would we do if it happened again? As her mother I can usually figure out a solution to most dillemas, but on this one I'm stumped and it's partly because I feel the same way she does. What WILL we do? Every so often I'm struck with the "what if's". This thing was yards from our house. What if we had chosen to stay home? What if it had shifted a little bit our direction? I don't know how Lydia and I would have survived given the age and structure of our little house.
So, ya'll. I'm admitting it. I'm scared too.
Posted by JennWren at 9:16 AM