Growing up in Oklahoma, I have always been prepared for tornadoes. We had regular drills in school and my parents stayed on us about knowing what to do. However, no amount of preparedness or practice ever gets you ready for the destruction a tornado can leave in its wake. My heart goes out to all the victims of the April 27 tornadoes. It is just so sad and humbling. The only silver lining is the spirit and generosity of people when a tragedy occurs. An unselfish act is the greatest gift you can give someone in their time of need. That is the beauty of the golden rule. How nice would it be if it didn’t require a tragedy to bring about the best in the human spirit?
I mentioned growing up in Oklahoma. Ironically, the only tornado that ever did any damage to my house was in Nashville, Tennessee. I was three. The tornado blew off part of our roof, did tons of damage to the side of the house and the yard and cracked several interior doors right down the middle. It was very scary. The things you never ever forget when you are in a tornado are: the sudden stillness, silence and darkness followed by what sounds like a freight train overhead; the scared looks on everyone’s faces; the screaming; the wind; the sound of things breaking and then silence again and finally sunlight. I will never forget that or how lucky we were.