I’m sorry the first part was so long. I will try to make this one shorter.
That night after listening to the car radio Chris decided to drive to a neighboring town to get gas because they were across the state line and had power. He returned home around midnight and let me know about a certain subdivision that had been hit hard for the second time in 16 years. My heart sank. Just how bad is the damage? We had no clue.
The next morning, Chris had to go into work for a brief meeting. I was trying to figure out what to do. We had no power, so I couldn’t get online to find out anything, I couldn’t do laundry, we couldn’t watch TV and breakfast was a bowl of cereal and yes that meant, NO COFFEE!! We had originally planned to visit Chris’ Dad and Step Mom this weekend, were we going to be able to do that? Chris’ job kept telling everyone in his Dept to “stay close”. I guess that’s what happens when your in the IT dept for a company. They wanted everyone that could close in case the systems crashed (which of course were being ran by generators). I really needed my hair washed, sorry, I know, Gross! But I really did and was afraid to tackle it by myself. See my injury was on the back of my head, I couldn’t see it! So anyways, I was having a hard time not being discouraged.
About an hour later Chris came home with my sister and her husband following close behind. They came to help clear the tree and she brought a camp stove, eggs and a french press which meant, COFFEE!!!! Hallelujah!!! I cried when I saw her, she was a sight for sore eyes. Her being here also meant someone could wash my hair, things were looking up!!
As the day progressed we gradually got reports of the power outage lasting anywhere from 5-7 days! We finally got to the point of having cell service and were able to receive calls and make a few calls. We made our plans and headed to Tennessee to visit Chris’ Dad where we could rest and heal.
As we drove out of town listening to the radio and hearing all the reports of damage, my heart broke for all the loss, pain and destruction. So many people lost homes, portions of their homes, businesses, loved ones. It was incredible, the path one particular EF5 tornado took, it started in Hackleburg, AL and traveled 106.9 miles to Franklin, TN, covering four counties in AL and one county in TN. It was 1.25 mile wide and had winds of 210 mph! Wow. I was blown away when I heard that info. Blown away. I silently prayed for all those hurting people coming through the rubble of what used to be their home, or those who had lost loved ones. I prayed for friends I hadn’t heard from yet, wondering and hoping they were ok. I prayed for my family who was traveling to NC to stay with relatives till the power came on. I prayed that our house would be safe, that it wouldn’t smell too bad when we got home. And how my heart wanted to stay home helping all these hurting people.
Once we got to TN Thursday night, we were so thankful for a dry home to stay in, warm showers, electricity, warm food. We could see pictures of the damage and destruction so close to our home and the area we live. The desire to be home and help grew stronger and stronger. But I would need to be patient, my head had to heal, Chris had flown to Virginia for Military duty and had asked us to wait till we had power to go home. So Riley and I stayed at Grandpa and Meme Macks for almost a week. We had a good time, we visited Cades Cove and the Titanic, both of those I counted as school days! The other days we did school and hung out with Grandpa and Meme Mack. When we got power late Tuesday afternoon, Grandpa said he could drive us home the next day.
It was so good to be home, to check on friends, neighbors. It was good to see a dear friend and hug her neck as she told us of all the trees they lost. She was so thankful none of them had fallen on the house they are building! We stopped by Mom’s and checked on her, then went to the grocery store to stock up on a few things. It was good to be home.
God is good, and sometimes our plans are not His plans. Although my heart was here in Alabama it was good to have a time to heal in Tennessee with loving Grandparents. There were so many stories of people helping each other, being the hands and feet of Jesus. Our church jumped out there and got right in the middle of the hardest hit areas and helped many people with removing debris, putting tarps on roofs, cutting trees, or just giving a bottle of cold water. Many other churches and individuals jumped in and joined the forces of helping clean up after the storms. What a blessing to see so many people coming together to help those in need.