May 20, 2013 is a day I will never forget. The week leading up to that day, we had been warned of a massive storm but everyone went about our business. This is Oklahoma and things can change on a dime – as we all know.
I was at work that day and around 1:00pm, I got a call from my son’s daycare. They had just dropped him off at school for the afternoon and wouldn’t be picking him up from school because of the impending weather.
After that call I tuned in to the news channels on my computer and by this point I had people running to my office asking if the direction of the tornado was headed toward my house…it was.
I knew the kids were safe at school, which was not in the storm’s path, but I knew my house may not be so lucky. Ric, my fiancé at the time, was at the house letting our puppy out when the storm hit. We had been texting, but lost contact, so I wasn’t sure where he was. He is from Texas and I was worried he didn’t know the proper tornado precautions. Luckily, he and our dog, Pip, headed south before the tornado hit.
It took me six hours to get home that night. Six long and horrible hours. Cell service was sketchy at best. I had talked to Ric, knew the house had damage but most importantly I talked to my kids. They were shook up, but doing well. Thank goodness to amazing teachers and staff at their school that day. They were already going to spend the night with their dad, which was a huge blessing. If the kids had seen my house the night after the storm, my daughter might have never had gone back. I had a hard enough time getting her back as it was.
By the time I got home, it was almost dark. I could see and hear firetrucks, ambulances and police all over Moore with helicopters flying over. It was a war zone. I had a totally eerie feeling. Pulling into my neighborhood and street I could see the devastation. Half of our neighborhood had been hit, completely devastated.
Luckily, we only sustained damage instead of the house being completely gone. Boards were sticking out of the house and roof, debris was everywhere and we had damage that we didn’t see or find until the next day. After my six hour drive home, I was exhausted so I just cried when I saw the damage. I lost control of my emotions because I knew the horrible feeling I had of only sustaining damage and couldn’t even imagine how horrible those felt that had absolutely nothing left. The important thing was everyone in my family was accounted for and safe. I thanked God for that numerous times that night. My heart ached for the momma’s who couldn’t say the same thing.
The next day and the months following were spent repairing. It was frustrating at times. Hard to believe that the house I had only owned for five months was getting a facelift we didn’t intend to happen. It is still hard thinking back. But life moves on and you have to move with it. You have to build on what you have and what came out of this tragic event.
Moore is a strong community. The number of people that have come out to help is mind blowing. We have had to rebuild before and we will do it again. It is so awesome to drive around town and see houses and businesses being rebuilt, when just not long ago we were picking up debris…and some people their lives – piece by piece.