My routine route to and from work each day follows the tornado’s Sunday path. Hot pink wind-proof signs and electronic reader boards flash warnings on the highway that cuts down from the cliffs that separate our area of town from the rest of town: Incident ahead.
After the incident was done incidenting, we had crawled out of the crawl space underneath my house — dismayed to find so much hail damage to the five vehicles parked outside my home. While we were hunkered down in the hunker space (we renamed it while we were there), we texted and called those who matter the most to us. Once we reached everyone and knew they were safe, it was easier to ride out the storm. I had always heard about how loud a tornado gets right before it strikes, so as long as we didn’t have to shout to each other, I assumed we were out of the tornado’s path – which we saw through our kitchen window right before we grabbed the pups and cell phones and took shelter.
Once the tornado sirens ceased their wailings, I studied my son’s body language after he came back inside from investigating the damage outside my home. Hard to lose out to a hail storm — but then our phones began to ring. Friends wanting to know if we were okay and letting us know of the damage done just a few blocks from where we were. A best friend’s home flooded with eight feet of standing water in the basement was the hardest to hear. A street’s length of businesses and one of the largest structures in our state were destroyed when the tornado touched down. Miracles of miracles, no one was injured. It didn’t take but a moment for each of us to realize what might have been if only. I watched my son’s body language change into an expression of blessing. Pure bless is what we’ve since named how it feels to come so close to an incident.