As if losing my dad last October wasn't bad enough. Last Tuesday when several states in the Southeast were ravaged by tornados and many, many lives were lost and many millions, perhaps billions of dollars of property damage was done, my parents farm was also distroyed.
My mother was alone in the house with her two little dogs when the storm roared through Cleveland, Ark. She took shelter in her small wood frame home in a central hallway. Only God and his angels know why she wasn't hurt.
Both of the barns were totally blown away. All of the trees that were in the immediate surrounding area of the house and in the yard were either uprooted or broken off and striped of limbs. As far as we could see on the 48 acres all the way down to the wood line, there wasn't a tree left standing.
Thankfully, a neighbor who is an EMT, came up to the house and ran through the pasture and up to the house and got her out safely. The driveway up to the house, which was once tree lined was unpassable. They literally had to lift/carry/toss my mother over a fence row of broken brush to get her to a vehicle to take her to safety so that we could get to her to bring her to my house that night.
The next morning, when we saw what the storm left in the daylight, we were all just stunned. The thought that kept going through my mind is that I was SO glad that daddy wasn't alive to see all the distruction to his beloved farm because it would have just killed his soul. They lived and loved on that place for 25 years.
Tonight is actually the first night that I have had an opportunity to really sit down and write about all of this. Thankfully, my mother had already been planning on moving away from the farm into the town where I live because she knew that she couldn't live so far out from "civilization" by herself. So, because of this, she actually did have somewhere to go as she had already purchased a new mobile home. The problem was however, that it had just gotten delivered and was no where near finished being set up. Plus, she hadn't even begun to pack the first box! We worked like mad in the freezing cold, and mostly in the dark inside her tornado damaged house just to try to get her belongings out before another rain came. Luckily, I think as it stands right now, we have 90-95% of her stuff out. All of the major important stuff is out anyway. She still has pantry canned food items and some kitchen cabinet items, but those won't be damaged it they get wet.
We are all just so overwhelmed at the daunting task ahead of us as far as the clean up goes. She was going to eventually put the farm up for sale, but now with all the damage, I just don't know how that will effect the value of the property. It used to be so beautiful with huge oaks and cedar and pine trees. Now it's just a jumbled up mess.
Mom is very much in shock. She doesn't understand why God took her husband and then took her home like that. Me, I am just very, very sad. Sad for her and sad for the distruction of such a beautiful place that was so special.