Thursday, May 31, 2012

More of that horrible night...

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.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Today was a good day...One year ago today, not so much

We survived. We made it a whole year and today we laughed, we connected, we played, we celebrated life. 

One year ago at this time (9:48pm) I was just arriving at the hospital, a sheriff zipping me through back roads. I had left 3 of my kids with neighbors I had only met that night. I didn't know where my 2 injured kids were and if my husband ever made it to the hospital. I didn't know if my 20-week-gestation baby was alive after part of my house fell on me and broke my pelvis. I was "put" in a back room in the maternity ward. I was low-priority that night and I understood that, but I was so scared. All I could see when I closed my eyes was the face of my trapped daughter screaming to me, "Help me, Mommy, I am dying!" I wanted to see her face again. I wanted to see her smile and laugh. I wanted THAT image in my mind. 

That was the lowest part of that night. There were other experiences that were awful--having to hoist myself up to relieve myself in a bed pan and have the nurse not notice (or care) that it was spilling all over the bed and me not being able to feel my battered back side to know my bed was wet. That was pretty bad. Seeing ds3 for the first time since my neighbors helped me out of where our furnace had bee...he was trapped and screaming the last time I saw him and he screamed nearly non-stop in the hospital. When he saw me he broke and cried hard but once he was laid on me he was asleep within a minute. That was rough. Seeing ds2 regress into his disability after his injuries, that was tough. But nothing was as dark as being in that room, alone, dirty, scared, hurting, moderately ignored, not able to move and FIND my family and take care of them. 

But today was a good day. I am so happy to be alive. I am so happy my kids are alive. I am so happy that dear husband and I are still married (tomorrow is our 13th anniversary). I am so happy that my baby lived. I LOVE my house. I LOVE my chickens and my garden. I LOVE the sunshine we had today. 

Today was a very good day. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Another part of the story...

Here is part 2 (of how many parts?  Not sure yet but more than 2.)

We were pulled about 8 feet to the furnace space.  It was so horrific-ly surreal.  I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that we were being pulled into a tornado.  I couldn’t think straight.  My head was swirling.  I couldn’t even make a “plan” for what I would do because I couldn’t understand what was happening.  How could we be in a tornado?

Prewitt says that the sound of the wind pulling at the garage door sounded like a hundred girls screaming.  It happened so quickly.  It was dark, we were squatting down, the house started shaking, the windows blew out, then, the house was gone…all in a matter of seconds. 

I thought I was going to die.  When we started to go with the tornado, I thought I was going to die.  Then we fell down.  Chuck fell back, Caleb and I fell forward.  Prewitt had a supernatural experience that is his 
story to tell.  Before we fell there was a series of lightening flashes that made seeing the destruction/chaos possible.  In that series I saw Prewitt get sucked away.  He was wearing a green Upward basketball jersey.  I saw him get sucked away feet first, yelling, I couldn’t get him.  I had no time to react to get him.  He was gone.  My heart broke.  My boy was gone.  What just happened?!?!?!?!?  Then we fell.  I fell forward, dropped Caleb with the force of the fall.  The top half of me (from the waist up) was dangling down into the furnace space and the back half of me was still on the concrete pad for the garage.  It jerked me hard.  Should I stay still until it is over or should I try to fall in?  I couldn’t see anything.  I didn’t know where I was.  I didn’t know what to do.  Someone, please tell me what to do! 

Then something fell on me, pushing the breath out of me, flattening my middle.  I felt my pelvis snap.  My right hip felt loose right away.  I knew it was broken.  No one believed me after.  Why doesn’t anyone believe me?  I was trapped.  Whatever landed on me was sitting on me, pushing on me, terrifying me.  Thoughts popped into my mind, “Oh my God, I am trapped!”, “This is my worst nightmare!”, “I’m going to die!”, “No, I’m not!  Kick!  Kick!  Kick!!”  Those thoughts seemed to happen all at once.  I’ve never experienced thoughts like that.  I kicked and kicked—my right leg felt like it was barely staying in the socket.  I couldn’t die that way.  I couldn’t.  God told me to kick, so I kicked.  I fell.  I think I fell on Caleb.  He was shivering, naked.  My skirt came down when I shimmied into the hole.  I remember thinking, “Pull up your skirt.  You can’t be bare bummed in a tornado.”  What a weird thought.  I felt Chuck and started to yell at him, “WHERE’S PREWITT!!!!” over and over and over again.  Chuck just stared, like he didn’t see me.  He was saying Jesus over and over again.  Prewitt was gone.  How could I live with my boy gone?  Then I hear him.  “Mom, I’m over here!”  He was there!!!  He was in the hole with us.  My heart was so full of joy.  My boy was alive.  I needed to pull myself together and find my other kids.  I couldn’t move though.