If you're sick and tired of hearing about the tornado......you probably ought not read this post.
Just a fair warning because I hate the thought that I'm the cause of eye rolls and heavy sighs and grunts of disgust.
(I get enough of that with my pre-teen and 5 year old.)
To be completely honest (again)....I'm sick of hearing about the tornado too.
It's over people....
It's been almost a year....
Strap on those big girl panties and
When I see the remaining smashed up untouched buildings around town I get a little irritable.
Let's smash and crumble and pile and remove that debris folks....we all know the routine by now.
We've all seen the signs flashing on every major road this month:
DEBRIS REMOVAL DEADLINE APRIL 2something!
When I am at the store and get held up in the checkout line because people are retelling their "Where Were you When" stories I no longer feel quite as patient as I did the first few months after May.
When people ask me if I was happy with our insurance company and I have to explain to them that we still haven't received a CENT on content and I am still filling out appeals and receipts my shoulders tense up with the frustration at the repetitive state of stress these
When I go into stores to pick out things for our new house and the lovely workers ask me if we're remodeling because of tornado damage I cringe.
I don't want to revisit it anymore.
We are moving forward.
We are focused on what we've gained.
We are grateful for what we have.
We are immersed in our normal (not even a "new" normal anymore...right?").
We are simply living our lives.
At my boys' school they have an art fair every year.
Each student in the elementary classes draws a picture...and they all have to include the same elements in their own creative variations.
This year the kids had to draw a gorilla, an elephant and a giraffe.
I always like wandering through the halls and seeing the fun scenes everyone has concocted.
Elephants playing tennis,
Gorillas rowing canoes,
Then I came upon the elephant being sucked up by a tornado while the giraffe exclaimed (via a bubble over it's yellow head), "Oh no....not another tornado!"
Then we had thunderstorms this weekend and my nephew (who is literally not afraid of ANYTHING) hid behind a door so I wouldn't see him crying and shaking.
Then I watched some show on the Weather Channel about how they rate tornadoes on the EF scale based on damage caused. They simulated how an EF-4 knocked down interior walls....and I had a startling vivid memory of how the big inside wall of our foyer had been knocked over so we could see through the ceiling.
When these things happen....you (I) deal with them.
You smile sadly at the poor elephant and thank God that the kiddo can express himself in art.
You hug a nephew and explain how we have weather alerts and will let him know when/if it's time to worry
You pray a prayer of thankfulness and change the channel.
When you're not expecting it....
Something wrenches your insides and you have to go to a quiet room and figure out why you just want to curl up in a ball and cry.
Too many "reminders" in one day?
Too many instances of feeling helpless?
Too little sleep?
Too much insurance hassle?
Too much other stress?
I don't know.
But I do know that it's not just me.
(I may be a little "not-normal"...I may have neuroses aplenty...I might have serious
Sitting at my in-laws pool this weekend my father-in-law (who is not really an emotional guy at all) told me that the weather that day reminded him of the afternoon of May 22nd.
My dear friend told me that she is terrified of the approaching storm season.
Another sweet friend changed important travel plans last weekend because of the threat of severe weather....she was afraid to be away from her kids if a storm happened.
A good friend called me to offer their home (with many basement rooms) to us any night there were storms....and said she just felt she had to make sure I knew it was available.
And there are more stories.
More people who seem to be a little jittery.
Is it because the storm season is starting?
Is it because the "anniversary" is approaching?
And this isn't just people who were actually "in" the tornado.
It's everyone who lives in this town and was impacted.
All of us.
We've lived through it.
We have put our lives and the lives of our loved ones in God's hands and we're comfortable with that.
When the Weather Channel says:
"Live Threatening Storms Approaching!!!!"
We get a little sickly tremble-y on edge.
So what's the point of this rambling post?
Maybe it's just to say.....
Let's give ourselves a break.
Take a step back.
If you need a moment.....take it.
And maybe try to be sensitive to each other.
If someone leaves work early to get their kids from school early because yucky weather is approaching.....
Just love them.....and pray for the spirit of fear to go away from them.
If someone goes into a loooooooong story about how their new dress/sweater/shoe/whatever that you just complimented is actually a replacement from the one the tornado sucked away.....
Just love them....and pray for quietness and peace for them.
And if someone snaps "No thank you we're fine!" when you explain to them that their new fixtures will all be discounted because they lost their home to a tornado (not mentioning any names
Don't take it personally.
Just know that they're working through things the best that they can.
And we ARE moving on.
We really are.
But sometimes we may find that a little bit of debris got left...
And we may trip over it....
But we'll get back up and keep on keepin' on.
And for me...
My gratefulness is very prominent.
My praise and thankfulness to my amazing God won't stop......
And I'm very happy he loves my old messed up self.
And I'm happy for discounts.
And the wedding cake concrete at Shake's.
(And THIS SONG....I'm awfully grateful for this song too.)