Another anniversary…

Today is the one year anniversary of the Good Friday tornado.  Thinking back, it was a terrifying day.  William and I were just enjoying lunch at Toot’s, which is about 4 blocks from our apartment.  My dad called, asked where we were and told me there was a tornado headed for our apartment.  I actually laughed.  It was too insane to think that something like that could happen in the place where we live.  William and I went outside, and this is what we saw…

Taken from the opposite view from where we were.  We were down this road about 3 blocks.

Police were driving down the street telling people to take cover.  Everyone in the restaurant was under the tables.  You could see things flying in the air around the funnel and transformers blowing.  The tornado was definitely headed in the direction of our apartment.  Then all of a sudden, it turned and started heading in a different direction.  Our apartment was saved.

Our future home and neighbors were not so lucky.  Seeing our neighborhood that day was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen in my life.  People standing on piles of wood and brick that were once their homes, digging through looking for anything worth keeping.  The smell of natural gas from the busted lines.  Cars over-turned on each other.  But the sweetest and saddest thing I saw was a teenage girl standing at the end of the street, looking down it intensely.  The police wouldn’t let us go down the street b/c of the gas and she was just standing there balling her eyes out.  She started screaming and crying even harder when she saw her mother coming down the street out of the neighborhood, holding a puppy.

Two houses down from us.  This house has been replaced by one that was recently moved into the neighborhood.

At our neighbor’s house down the street.

On Wilkinson Pike, just past the end of our street.

Well, I think it is just important to remember that day.  Not just to remember how sad it was, but to celebrate how far everything has come since then.  Most of the homes in our neighborhood have been repaired or rebuilt.  There are little reminders through the neighborhood, like the piece of office desk and telephone cord still stuck in our tree that we aren’t going to take out.  Its almost like a medal of honor that the tree earned.  Its still standing after all that it went through.

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