This is an actual photo of the tornado that came within a couple miles of my house on Sunday, June 7. I downloaded it from the Channel 7 News website, because I was not home to photograph it. And, I probably would have been cowering in the basement if I had been home, like the "storm-phobic" person I am.
The worst part about my family looking a tornado in the eye like this was the fact that we were all in different places. I was at work, my husband and 2 youngest children were at a church picnic, and my oldest daughter, who is 11, was home by herself because she didn't feel well. I called home when I saw the TV news-crawl in my patient's room, and the phone was answered by a weeping, terrified girl. So inside, I immediately became a quivering emotional wreck, but over the phone I had the collected-mom voice "Just go down to the basement, take your cel phone, and a grownup who you know will come get you when it's clear." In the background I can hear hail falling (the size of golfballs, it turned out) and the storm siren wailing. It was terrible.
Hubby and the other 2 kids were apparently on their way home from the church when the warning came, and it turned out that the funnel was physically between the church and our home. And the home phone wasn't working. And Hubby's cell phone had died. So he couldn't readily get in touch with our daughter at home. Not to mention that I couldn't get in touch with him either, which added to my own distress.
In the middle of all this drama, I am supposed to be caring for 2 critically ill patients and preparing to potentially evacuate them into the hallway. On ventilators. Things were going so badly, in fact, that I had a little breakdown in one of my patient's rooms, and started to cry in front of the family. When the family members offered to bring me ice water and tissues I knew it was time to pull it together.
My son said he just "sat in the corner and freaked out", and my youngest daughter executed her famous coping mechanism....she sat down in the inner hallway of the church and fell asleep...like a possum, I guess, she just shuts down and plays dead until the danger passes.
In the end, a neighbor came to get my daughter until my husband got home, all are safe and we only have a couple of hail-dents in the hood of our car. We were all on edge yesterday, and watching the weather forecast has taken on a new dimension of importance, and the 11-year old will not be staying home alone for a while, even on a sunny Sunday afternoon. This is definitely going to be one of those stories for the family history books.