Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Be still, my heart

I have never been so scared in my entire life, and I hope to never feel this way again. That tornado weather that I referenced earlier today? You know, the one I arrogantly said was inconveniencing me?

Well, it spawned tornadoes. Lots of them. Big ones. A mile-wide one hit my hometown of Tuscaloosa and absolutely leveled much of the center of town. You know, a couple of blocks from where my brother lives. I saw that one approaching the city on James Spann's SkyCam and nearly threw up. And then I immediately jumped in my car, headed to Wal-Mart to take shelter, and prayed like a crazy person.

It hit Tuscaloosa. Power is out there. Cell phones aren't working. Taco Casa? Destroyed. Krispy Kreme? Gone. An entire block full of stores and a whole shopping center? Leveled. Neighborhoods full of old people and college students? Wiped off the face of the planet. Alberta City? Doesn't exist anymore.

WHAT happened to all those people in those neighborhoods and stores and restaurants??? Were they in a safe place? Do they have anything left?

It was into the evening before I finally heard from Daniel and Girlfriend Olivia. I had seen that monster with my own eyes and I watched it pummel its way through their part of town. And then? My dozen or so phone calls all went straight to their voicemails. I pride myself in being level-headed and reasonable, but I very nearly had a panic attack. Heart pounding. Nausea. Sweating. Deep breaths. Pacing the floor. Lots and lots of praying on my knees.

We finally heard from him and I know next to nothing except there's a tree on his car, and he and Olivia are fine. As far as I know, his roommate is still unaccounted for. (Edited to add @ 10:20---Roommate Curtis is fine. Praise the Lord!)

We're less than an hour away but were thankfully spared. Praise the good Lord above that everyone I know in Tuscaloosa is accounted for. Please pray for all those in Tuscaloosa and throughout the state who have been affected by this. Twenty-five deaths have been reported in the state so far, and I'm sure that there will unfortunately be more.

I hate these evil things and never, ever want to do this again.

(This is the monster that tried to destroy my hometown and those I love. This is the video I watched on the TV at Wal-Mart, live, as it tore through town just yards from my brother, while I prayed and fought back the urge to vomit. I still can't believe this thing was on top of Daniel and Olivia and that they're okay. And I can't believe anyone would be fool enough to sit that a car...filming that thing. It's like something from a movie.)


  1. Holy moly! I have alot of family in Birmingham right now (my brother-in-law is having major surgery in the morning).. including my sweet hubby.. Apparently, they missed one by 7 or 8 miles. I almost threw up when he told me. I'm pretty sure I'm driving up there tomorrow so I can be with him.. It scares me! =( Glad your brother is safe!!!! I know you were a nervous wreck! Praying for you and all of those effected! Stay safe!!!

  2. It breaks my heart. I love that city so much and lived there for 5 years. When I looked at the pictures tonight I hardly recognized anything. Keep us posted on your family and your bro's roommate. Praying.

  3. Ashley, I'm so glad your family members (hubby included!) made it to Bham safely. How scary to have to travel on a day like this!

    I'll be praying for your brother-in-law as he undergoes his surgery tomorrow.


  4. Lauren, it's just awful, isn't it? It just makes me sick to my stomach to hear the list of victims grow and see all the damage. From what I can tell, 15th Street is just unrecognizable.

    Prayers are the best things possible right now. I know you'll keep 'em comin'!


  5. Oh, Julie,
    I have tears in my eyes as I read your post. Praise God you and your brother are well. I continue to pray for those you know, and love who are affected and those who are your neighbors whether next door or across the state. May God have mercy on you all at this very difficult time.
    I know when you get back to class you will be a blessing to your students as I am sure they are completely traumatized.
    Hugs and lots of prayers sweet girl!

  6. I have missed the news the last couple of days and got on CNN and recognized the name of the town you had mentioned before! How scary!! Glad your family is ok!!

  7. Annesta, thanks so much for your prayers! I haven't stopped praising God today that all my Tuscaloosa family and friends are safe. I keep seeing that tornado in my mind and shiver every time.

    It's just so overwhelming. I'm headed there tomorrow to hug Daniel's neck and am worried about what I'll see. Keep the prayers coming...they are sorely needed!


  8. Leesha, I hate that this is what put Tuscaloosa on the map for you, but at least you'll remember its name now :) I don't even recognize that part of my hometown. Absolutely unreal and devastating. Thanks for checking in on everybody!


  9. terrifying. this person was insane.

  10. Sarah Barry, I can't even IMAGINE what was going through this guy's mama's head knowing he was out there in this. The video is amazing but not. worth. it.

    This literally is the scariest thing I've ever seen. I don't think I'm going to watch it again.

    Thanks for checking in on us!



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