While this post has nothing to do really with quilting or sewing. This blog is also about my life. My experiences and feelings about them. To not include a post about something which effects me so profoundly and has certainly scared the beejesus out of me would be crazy. It is also why I have not posted. I was just unable to find a way to post a happy, up beat and fun blog post about sewing and quilting. Right now I am busy working on quilts, yes. But quilts that will give comfort. Quilts that will let someone know their pain is not forgotten. Quilts that will let a child hold something that is theirs and not lost. As you read this blog post you will come to understand why this means so much to me right now. It feels like I must do this. Call it survivor guilt or simply compassion. Call it what you want, but it is something I feel very strongly that I need to do.
Not sure if any of you have heard. I live in Mesquite TX. This is a suburb of Dallas. My family, and when I say my family I mean ALL of my family with the exception of my oldest daughter and my youngest daughter, live in Forney, TX. My mother and daughter specifically live in Diamond Creek. This is a subdivision there. My sisters live in Forney as well but in different neighborhoods. Forney is a small town. They have one 4A high school. One Walmart and a Brookshires. That small. My mom's subdivision is one like many of you know. Small surrounding an elementary school with about 125 homes. Not large by any means. Now, it will never look the same again.
On April 3rd the Dallas/Ft. Worth area had a really rough weather day. We had 15 tornadoes touch down from 1pm to around 5pm. Two of them in my town. There was some damage done. It was very scary. But the scariest time of all was when I was on the phone with my mom. She works from home about half the time. My daughter and grandson were there with her as well. We had just had a tornado touch down here. The second one in a couple of hours. I must have spent half the day in my hall! lol..
While on the phone with my mom, I was telling her it the storm cell was headed to her in Forney. She was outside looking at the sky, as most of us in tornado alley are prone to do when we hear there is one coming our way. I hear her say "oh yeah, there is tons of circulation! I can really tell with the dark and white clouds! Wait, there is one coming down now! Oh and it is not going back up! That one is staying down on the ground!" Meanwhile I am on the phone with her telling her to get the he$$ in the HOUSE NOW! My mother is a VERY stubborn woman. By the time I was done, I found myself screaming at her at the top of my lungs "Mom for the love of God get in THE HOUSE NOW!!!! PLEASE GET IN THE HOUSE!!" She finally did go in the house and get in her hallway. I could hear on the news that one was on the ground in Forney. I heard Walmart had been hit. I said as much to her on the phone. Her reply was "Something sure did because there is nothing but tons of insulation in my pool and back yard!" The total of the true devastation had not yet become known to her. Only after walking outside did she get the full picture of how much devastation had happened. Also how truly lucky she had been.
There were fortunately no deaths in the Dallas/Ft Worth area that day. By some miracle for sure. One woman in my mother's neighborhood was home with her grandchild and babysitting 2 other children. She was huddled in a bathtub with a 5 year old and two 18 month olds. After it stopped she had no home around her. Yet no injuries. I am attaching a video of my mom's neighborhood. It looks like a bomb went off! This is the footage someone took of the tornado going down the street. This is headed directly for my mothers home. Yet it took a turn here, just a small one and missed my moms house by only a very short distance.
I feel so fortunate. Those that I hold so dear are alive and well. My mother's home, while definitely damaged, nothing in compared to the other 75 homes in her neighborhood that had severe damage and in most cases demolished. Some actually GONE. Yet no deaths, not even a severe injury. I have been busy with life that sometimes can get in the way with blogging. I am working on trying to gather some donated material in a "free-cycle" group in our town. I am making some quilts for my mom to take to her neighborhood church and give to some of the effected families. Mostly the children who lost so much. My son went to the school in that neighborhood. The school itself was actually hit. The roof was peeled off. There was a woman that came to pick up her children (the tornadoes hit right when our schools let out). A teacher came running out to her car and said a tornado is coming. The woman instead chose to go into the school to ride out the safety. Her car was found across the field mangled and almost unrecognizable. Another woman came to pick up her child and went into the school as well. Moments later the car was picked up and thrown into a home across the street from the school. These woman should have ran out that day and purchased a lottery ticket for sure! The video below tells some of the stories I mentioned as well as shows some of the aftermath.
I feel so fortunate and in many ways a bit guilty. While my own home has been adjusted by the insurance company. I have a totaled roof, gutters, screens and fence. But compared to many, it is nothing. The thought of those I love so much being lost is enough to stop me in my tracks. I would have lost my mother, daughter and grandson in one foul swoop. That is a terrifying thought for sure. I choose to look instead at how fortunate I am to have them safe and sound. I am sure many in my area feel the same way. With so many tornadoes that day, I am sure many feel EXACTLY as I do.
We are in for some more rough weather tonight and tomorrow morning. Right now Oklahoma City and other towns in tornado alley are being hit. They tell us we have a slight chance of ours becoming tornadic as well. That is what they said on April 3rd as well so not going to feel much comfort in the word "slight" again.