There is a special brand of terror experienced by parents when their children might be in harm's way. Yesterday I felt it.
I've been having some medical issues since Miss P was born, and I finally decided yesterday that it might be worth a trip to the ER to get some things checked out (I'm fine--just have to have some follow-up appointments). In order to do so, we took the girl out to visit with her Grandma and Papa at their house.
From the time we left her at the Farm and I got taken back to a room in the ER, Norman came under a tornado warning. We were moved from the room they originally put us in to a more interior room. We got to hear announcements for a Code Black. We watched the storm chasers on TV work their way from west to east across Norman. The storm moved past us without dropping a tornado on Norman proper. After that, we watched as the storm moved east, thinking it would head north of the Farm.
But it kept going east. With the meteorologists saying it was going to drop a tornado any moment. Headed straight for the lake. Headed straight for our family.
I began a slow, steady panic.
We had taken her out to the Farm because I needed something. If anything happened to her, I felt like it would be my fault. I didn't keep her safe. Not to mention the fear for the rest of our family.
As Mike Morgan kept saying that a tornado was right on top of them, I got taken back for a CT scan. Alec kept trying in vain to call out and check on them, but the calls wouldn't go through. The cell towers were either overloaded or down. When I came back, he still hadn't heard from them. We began calling other people who might have heard from them. Nothing.
Finally, we got word that they were fine. Lots of downed trees, some blocking their long driveway. But everyone was safe.
We wrapped up at the ER and headed out to get our girl and help clean up. After stopping to pick up some food for everyone and changing from flip-flops to real shoes, we began the drive out to the Farm. On the route we took, everything looked normal. Until we were right at the driveway.
The storm's path was about 100 yards north of the house. I cried.
The closest houses around had some pretty good damage. They were still standing, but would need a lot of work. Trees were down everywhere, including one old-growth tree that was uprooted and laying across the road. The driveway to their house was completely blocked. The clean-up process had already begun, with chainsaws, tractors, and a bulldozer. Thank goodness for country living and access to such equipment!
Grandma, Cousin M, and Miss P rode the storm out in Grandma's closet. Their house was fine, but had no power or water, as the well relies on electricity to run. Miss P was being fed out on the porch when we walked up. I finished feeding her and then didn't put her down for about two hours.
I have no doubt that God took care of my family yesterday. The storm damage around them was not catastrophic. Help arrived quickly to move the debris. And everyone was safe.
Any weird feelings I had about being a mother are completely gone. It's not weird anymore. It's life. It is who I am. It's going to be a wild ride.
insist: make the interim count (part 1)
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