Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Heavy Heart - Worse Than May 3rd

I want to start off by saying thank you to all of you. For checking in on my family. For all the prayers that are desperately needed.

We are ok. In fact, our home was not in the path. We had a few friends in that area. One lost her home, but she and her three children are safe and unharmed. Another is safe, and their home is ok. Thankful for God's protection on so very many.

I just have a few things I need to get off my chest in order to process everything the last few days. This is going to be a little disjointed, so sorry for that. I'm not even going to go through and edit. I don't think I could handle thinking about this more than I have to. More than anything, this is for me. A way to heal.
  • Starting this month, Phil starting getting paid differently. Because of this, we are basically losing $400 a month. I was informed of just how bad it was Friday morning. This just started a wave of bad attitudes and feel down. It only got worse from there.
  • I thought losing our power was just awful Sunday morning. I went on and on about it being so hot, losing the food in our fridge, etc. Now I feel like a fool because it was back on in 36 hours. Sure it was a pain to deal with, but we barely had any other damage. Just a piece of fence we have to nail back in place.
  • We ran to Tulsa to escape the heat and bad weather after church Sunday. As soon as we go into city limits, I checked on the weather at home. A funnel cloud was basically forming over our house. I proceeded to cry and worry about all of those we love. Luckily, it sounds like none of our friends or church family had any major damage and all were safe. Shawnee wasn't so lucky. I drove to the mall there for driver's ed in high school. Thankfully, the two people I know who live in that area were fine. Considering the storm, it was amazing that the death and injured tolls were not larger. We barely got thunderstorms in Tulsa proper. We were able to sleep decently in the air conditioning.
  • We woke up Monday early enough to get home so Phil could get to work. Poor guy had to wake up so early on his birthday! It was cloudy and windy, but didn't seem too bad.
  • Jillian had speech therapy at 2 pm. I kept watching the weather and nothing was popping up. I even checked 3 separate times on the way to the clinic. It was cloudy, but not even that dark when I walked into the building. Heck, the sun was even out! About 15 minutes into the session, I can hear the rain. Then hail. As Jillian starts to cry out of frustration, we hear the sirens. We start to move into a booth, but were told they are not structurally sound. With that in mind, we all walked to the back hallway where we sat trying to keep all the babies entertained for the next 20 minutes. I got in touch with Phil who said it should stay south and not to worry. Once we got the all clear, Jillian and I went home.
  • I listened to the local station on my phone all the way home. I prayed aloud and cried most of the way. We have some good friends down there, and I was having flashbacks to May 3rd, 1999.
  • The problem with tornadoes for me is that I always imagine May 3rd. We had a few close calls in  Arkansas, but my first real tornado experience was May 3rd. It was coming for us after it ripped apart almost the same area of Moore that got hit yesterday. The worst part was the fact that they were misspeaking when it was getting close to our house that day. We had no idea exactly how close it was until later. It ended up lifting just about 2 miles west of us. I just remember thinking we were going to all die that day. This is why I don't trust tornadoes whatsoever.
  • There were some darkish clouds north of our house, but they didn't even drop rain on us. Once I turned on the TV and saw Moore, it was all I could do to not lose it.
  • A girl I was really close to in 8th and 9th grade posted on Facebook that her house and neighborhood were gone. Then, I found out two of her three kids were in the elementary school where children were trapped. She quickly found her daughter, but it took over an hour for her to update that her son was pulled ok and was ok. Shortly after that, they announced on the news that they were expecting to just recover bodies from that school from then on.
  • I went from not being able to imagine not being able to find your children to finding out your child was gone. That's a hard enough thing to think about, let alone when you're pregnant!
  • The hardest part was watching these seasoned news reporters choking up as they gave us information like that. 
  • Another story involved the recovery of a young woman and her 7 month old who were trying to hide in a freezer in a convenience store. 7 months old! Unimaginable.
  • Something crazy to both Phil and I is the fact that we looked at homes in that area last year. When we considered Moore, we looked in the area close to I-44 in order to help with Phil's commute. We could have been there. It wasn't until I just couldn't get over the thought of May 3rd that we focused more on homes in our current area of the metro. Phil said he would have raced home if we lived there and he couldn't get ahold of me. It took 10 minutes from the hook forming to the tornado touching down. If he had driven, he would have gotten hit! I can't even think about it.
  • Also, Phil told me that, at 2:05, it got pitch black outside of his office. They looked at the radar and a hook was forming nearby. It would have touched down on top of their building and would have headed toward downtown OKC. Two people in his office split immediately. One even peeled out in the parking lot! However, because the storm that produced the tornado in Moore developed faster, it took all the energy out of the one above Phil. I'm glad there weren't two at the same time!
  • Phil finally got home about 4:30 safe and sound. I was so relieved and couldn't stop crying. Between feeling so sad/helpless, and happy that we were all safe, I just lost it. 
  • I finally had to stop watching the news. It's just making everything worse. Hearing that this was even worse than May 3rd just did me in. I thought May 3rd was a once-in-a-lifetime storm. To have another 14 years later that's worse? I can't even deal.
  • We made a nice, quick meal for Phil's birthday. He had a birthday cupcake, and opened his gifts/cards. I think considering everything that happened, he had a good birthday. It was the last birthday in his 20's so hopefully the 30's will be less exciting :)
  • I ended the day bathing my precious girl in our unharmed home. We went into her bedroom where we had a little dance party with her daddy. Hearing Jillian giggle while I was surrounded by my sweet little family was exactly what my soul needed. That's what life is about. I am so very blessed and need to keep that in mind.


  1. I am so glad you all are ok... I had to stop watching the news, too. I was just crying too much. :( I spent a lot of yesterday just cuddling E.

    Love you lots. <3 Stay safe.

    1. Thank you so much my love!
      I still can't wrap my mind around everything and cry even when we're just watching Sesame Street because it's constantly on my mind. I was so jumpy this afternoon when a few waves of thunderstorms rolled through. It had no tornado potential, but I was still on edge.

      Love you too, and we promise :)


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