I am sitting here with my heart in my throat. Last night, Taylor and Kyle went to Mena for Kyle's Martial arts class. I am always prayerful when they are out and about without me and last night was no exception. Rodney and I had started settling in for the evening, getting supper ready and doing our end-of-the-day chores. While I was outside putting the goats up for the evening, I looked to the north and beheld a sky I've rarely seen in my life. In my gut, I knew that was dangerous weather system. Immediately, I got on my phone to try and get in touch with the kids to make sure everything was ok, only, my phone wasn't working. Come to find out, nobody's phone was working.
My prayers became even more diligent and I started to panic a bit. When I got back in the house, I turned on the weather channel and the panic grew into sheer terror as I watched as Mena was being circled and pointed out as a tornado warning area. The feeling of complete helplessness was one I don't wish to feel again soon. Rodney and I kept trying to call with no avail and, when the lights started to flicker, we both said, "lets go get em". We jumped in the car and headed out to go find our babies. I was driving and Rodney was still calling and calling hoping to get ANYTHING. By the time we reached the railroad tracks a call finally went through and I heard my Taylor's sweet voice. Oh, thank you God.
I listened to her as she described the situation. They (Taylor, Kyle and Erica) were in the Martial arts school when the tornado went right over them. The buildings across the street were hit, the roof of the school was partially ripped off and most of the cars outside were badly damaged...all of them except Taylor's. They were instructed to stay-put until the police could verify that the downed power lines were not live. Rodney and I decided to come back home and wait for them. This was not an easy decision. We kept ourselves busy even going to check our neighbors heifers which have been calving. As we were making our way back home, another neighbor showed up on his four wheeler so we stopped to talk. While we were talking, we saw headlights coming up from behind and I heard Rodney say, "I sure hope that's my babies" and...it was. I jumped out of the truck and kids piled out and the hugging and crying started. The relief that I felt was overwhelming.
All of this was so overwhelming that it was hard to take it all in. It didn't really hit until this morning as I watched the news and surveyed the damage, that I realized how very dangerous the whole thing was. From the news and video I've seen so far, it looks like a war zone in Mena. My babies were there in the middle of all of that! This is when it hit me that things could have very easily gone very bad for this family last night. I've always said that Kyle has a whole fleet of guardian angels and I'm sure that they were on full-alert last night as they vigilantly protected my precious children.
I am praying this morning for those who have lost loved ones because this tornado did leave death and injury in it's path. Please pray for them too.