My mind raced and was at a stand-still at the same time. I was trying to figure out what to do but couldn’t really figure it out because I still couldn’t comprehend what was going on. So many thoughts…pull up your skirt, what just happened, “Twister” was a bunch of crap, Caleb is next to me-he’s shivering-pull him close, why isn’t Chuck responding to me, what is going to happen to us…I was shocked. I couldn’t put all the pieces together. What the heck was happening?
The noise of the tornado was insane. I was literally shouting at the top of my lungs and no one was responding to me. Perhaps they were in shock. I’ve seen videos from the tornado and the survivors are covering their ears. It was LOUD. It was screaming, throbbing, howling, deep, full, chugging. There were sounds of wood cracking—trees, houses, light poles, telephone poles. Like when you snap a twig but deeper and magnified.
It was so dark until the lightening started flashing. It lit up that total darkness—but I didn’t recognize anything around me. Where was my house? Where was I? What was happening?
Then I saw Ian. His face blank, diaper barely holding on, he was pale, he wasn’t moving. Oh my God, he is hurt so badly. I saw him just lying across some bricks, I think he was on bricks. He was cut open so deeply. The yellow of fat, the red of muscle, the pink of his skin; a bum shouldn’t look like that. I yelled to Chuck, “Ian is hurt.” Chuck then uttered the only words he spoke TO me the entire tornado. He said, “Grab him.” I had grabbed some blankets on the way down the stairs. I made myself move and scooped up my son. It hurt like hell. I felt my hip slipping in and out of the socket. I didn’t really care. I needed to get Ian. He is so special. He has been close to death a few times in his life. He is too innocent, he is too delayed and too delicate to go through this. Why? Why Ian? I didn’t know if he was alive or dead when I grabbed him. He looked dead. I wrapped him in a Strawberry Shortcake blanket my mom had made for me when I was a baby. He wasn’t speaking. He wasn’t looking in my eyes. He wasn’t doing anything. I kissed him and could tell he was alive. I told him he was going to be okay. I really believed we would be okay. Ian had to be okay. God, let Ian be okay. I also thought to myself, “Did I adopt him for THIS?” How could God let this happen to Ian? How could THIS be the plan? Was Ian going to die here? I honestly thought that I would rather have left him in Ohio to another adoptive family than to have him die like this. I love that boy so much. He deserved so much better than this.
Another flash of lightening and I saw Maggie and Bear…trapped. The house was on them. Oh my God, what am I doing to do? My kids, they can’t move, they are screaming. Screaming. Screaming. Screaming. Chuck, the kids are trapped. Why isn’t Chuck responding? Why isn’t he helping? Is he hurt? Why isn’t he helping? I am alone. I’m doing this alone. I’m on my own. I always knew I’d end up alone. What if I am the only one who lives? Oh my God. Maggie. Bear. Ian. Oh my God.