Monday, January 31, 2011
How we ended 2010
Let me just start with the day before, December 30, 2010. I decided to meet up with my friend and her mother for breakfast the next day. I told my family that I would be leaving in the morning at 8:45am, and if they wanted to join me to make sure they are up and ready. The morning of December 31st came, and no one wanted to get up. So I got the baby ready to go and headed out for breakfast. The moment I stepped outside I knew something was different. The temperature was reading 62 degrees in my car, so it was unusually warm. We met up with my friend and her mom at the diner and ordered our breakfast.
It started pour cats and dogs and we could here the sirens going off. So we decided to just sit still for a little while longer to wait it out. My neighbor called me but I didn't pick up in time. Then a few minutes later my phone rang again and it was my husband. He told me that the tornado hit our home and that everything was gone. I didn't believe him at first because it wasn't the first time he tried to pull a fast one on me. So I put the phone on speaker for my friend to listen and realized he was not joking. He told me that he was at a neighbors house and that everyone was ok.
I grabbed the baby and drove as fast as I could. I had every kind of emotion running through me and my mind was thinking about everything. I knew my family was ok but I didn't know what to expect. I got onto post and was driving behind an ambulance. It seemed like the ambulance was driving so slow! As I was driving on the street where my neighborhood was located I couldn't really see anything. But the moment that I turned onto my street I saw the devastation the tornado had caused. I drove up as far as I could and jumped out of the car. I dropped to my knees and started to histarically cry out for my family. The sight is something that I will never forget. Something that you think you only see in movies. Pictures cannot possibly capture the true destruction that the tornado caused. It looked as though the tornado just dropped right onto our home.
I got to my neighbors house where my family was at. I hugged them so hard that I couldn't believe that they were ok. My husband told me that Asher, our dog was missing. I ran outside and called his name over and over again but nothing. My husband looked as much as he could through the rubble and didn't find him. So we had hope that he was still alive somewhere. We were informed that they were evacuating the neighborhood because there was a gas leak at our home. We walked to the chapel and waited for the next plan. My husband's coworker came and picked us up and we went to there home to clean up. The rain had not stopped for a while after the tornado hit so we were all soaking wet.
We were able to get a hotel room, however that night I don't think anyone got any rest. For the next week we were constantly going to meetings to figure out what we were going to do. The Amry was able to move us into a new home within 24 hours of the tornado. There was an outpour of generousity and kindness from our friends in the area. We had furniture donated and many household items and toiletries. The USO opened up a facility and provided us with more than enough items to help bring our life back to normal.
Unfortunately there was one thing holding us back and that was our missing dog, Asher. I will create a new post for his story. Olivia, our 6-year daughter started back to school and we tried to bring back normalcy into her life. My mother-in-law came down to help us go through everything. We made two really big trips to our destroyed home. At one time we had over 12 soilders going through the wreckage and pulling out anything that look salvageable. Anything that they could grab we brought back to the new house. We are still going through stuff, but most of it has to be thrown away. In one day we threw away over 6 truck beds of our belongings. We lost over 80% of our belongings, and event the other 20% that we were able to save had to be thoroughly cleaned.
It has been a month now since the tornado hit and I can say that we are finally up and running. Our family is together and healthy. That is what truly matters.