To read about how the tornado has affected my family from the beginning, click here.
It's something we didn't think about.
And by "we", I mean "I".
Could this happen...again...?
With the practically non existent winter (hopefully) behind us, we are all looking forward to Spring. With Spring, comes rain.
With rain, comes thunderstorms. Sometimes severe ones.
And with severe thunderstorms come the possibility of tornado watches and warnings.
I have spent so much time focusing on what did happen, how to get through it and move on, I didn't even think about this coming Spring and Summer's weather.
And every Spring and Summer after that.
There is a whole season of watches and warnings just getting underway.
Less than a month ago a series of storms spawned various tornadoes in Indiana, Missouri and neighbouring states. In one case, a 15 month old was later found alone in a field. She eventually died, along with her parents and siblings.
This past weekend there was a tornado watch issued for the other side of Lake Huron, in Michigan, the same lake that spawned "our" tornado, back in August. When I read about that warning. I have to admit, I panicked. I trolled the various weather sites watching the radar very closely.
This afternoon, a tornado touched down in Dexter, Michigan, not far from Ann Arbour and 30 minutes from where one of my friends lives. As I watched the footage on the news, my chest tightened and my heartrate quickened.
Homes flattened. Firetrucks everywhere.
It's not that far away. We often get the same weather as Michigan.
Jeff tells me to get used to it. That there will be more tornado watches and warnings this year, what he believes to be Environment Canada's way of making sure everyone is better prepared...just in case.
Logically, I know this is true.
But last night I laid in bed listening to the thunder, second guessing myself.
"Is that thunder? It's going on for a long time...is it the 'train' sound?...I don't hear hail..."
Is this what it's going to be like from now on? Feelings of anxiety and restlessness with each storm?
Stalking the weather radar, watching for it to turn purple? Looking up at the sky with fearful eyes?
How many tornado watches/warnings are ahead for us? How are we to manage them, emotionally? Help our children manage them?
Not even necessarily here, what if...somewhere else in this area?
You're thinking "Don't think like that".
If you have been through what I have, you know better than to say that.
About a week ago, we had a few evenings with strong winds. At one point I was standing in Jack's new bedroom, in our house that has been rebuilt and will be ready in a few weeks, and I stood there and listened to the wind whipping outside the window.
There I was, in a new house, on that same property...listening to the wind and looking down onto the street below...where it all happened.
It's something I didn't think about.
This will never be over. This will always be with us.
With each major storm, with each watch and warning...my skin is going to crawl and my stomach is going to be churning.
And I am almost 32 years old. I have a 7 and 4 year old who will be feeling that too.
There will always be fear.
Real, raw, gutwrenching fear.
Could this happen again?
Are you any better prepared?
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