Book Squirt

It’s Been A Year

It’s been a year since the tornado.

It’s been a year since I came out of my house and saw a tornado almost in my back yard.

It’s been a year since all of our friends were calling us, wanting to know if we were dead or alive.

A whole year. How has it been that long? It seems like it was a few short months ago.

Eleven months ago, I wrote a post on my Mom’s blog about the tornado. The majority of it is still true.

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It has been one month.

One month since the tornadoes came.

One month since our friends lost their house, but kept their faith in God.

One month since another friend lost her legs, but kept her children.

One month. It’s amazing what a month can bring.

My old church, Mt. Moriah

It has brought people across the country together, as they send clothing, food, gift cards, etc. to people who lost everything. It has brought fresh hope to people who lost everything, as they start to regain a sense of normal. It has brought families from all over Indiana and Kentucky, to help with the clean-up. And some people from other states!

The school in Henryville

There have been many blessings, because of March 2nd, 2012. I could tell you so many stories of people who helped, who sent us things or brought us things to give to our friends. I could tell you about the week after the storm that I spent at home, answering the phone non-stop because everyone wanted to get stuff to us. I could tell you about how my fingers started cramping from typing out so many replies on our FB Page. I could tell you about the lady who used the money she would have spent on her birthday to buy toiletries to send to our area.

The bags of toiletries someone bought with their birthday money

I could tell you so many things.

I could tell you how I started sobbing when I saw the row of pines that I used to play in at my friend’s house. They were all down on the ground. I did not even recognize that it was the Lynch’s house, until I saw the big rock that sat by their driveway. It was there, split in half. All of the fruit trees were gone; their house was in pieces in front of me.

My friend’s house and car

But I did not see it.

I could not see anything through my tears.

I still have trouble accepting what I saw on that drive.   And I still have not even seen Henryville yet. I just saw a couple of my friends’ houses.

And I still have nightmares about that day.

But I also have good dreams about it. I dream about how we were able to help people by distributing gift cards, taking boxes and boxes (and trash bag after trash bag) of clothes to our friends.  All the while knowing that whatever they did not use, would go to a distribution center so other people could use it. I dream about the day that we went and helped finish Stephanie Decker’s house, so she could come home from rehab the next day. I dream about taking food to a friend who needed it.

As I sit here writing this, I am almost crying. What happened that day was truly horrible. But I can also see that God had it in control. While I wonder why my friend’s house had to be blown to pieces, I know that God had a reason. While I wonder why Mrs. Decker had to lose her legs, I know that God had a reason. And, if God had a reason for it, then it needed to happen.

In many ways, it seems like it has been a month. In some ways, it seems like it has been 3 months. In other ways, it seems like it has been a week.

Two abused cars

I don’t know why the tornadoes that wrecked Clark County, (and many others) happened. But I do know that they happened for a reason. God’s reason. I do not know His reasons, but I know that they will make sense in the long run. To Him at least. They might never make any sense to me. But that’s ok.  Because “we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

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I don’t really want to forget what happened that day. Yes, it means I will always flinch when I hear the weather alarm go off. It means I will never go to my friend’s house without remembering what it used to be. It means I will always be uneasy when the sky turns that sickly yellow color.

For almost four months after the tornado I had nightmares. Nightmares about my friends and family dying, nightmares about being trapped, unable to move. While I don’t want to forget everything else, I probably wouldn’t mind forgetting those.

Every day I drive through Henryville, and the damage is still there. The American Flag is still standing in the pile of bricks, reminding me constantly of what happened. The house with the big gardens is finally rebuilt, but the pizza place on the corner isn’t. There are still houses with tarps instead of roofs, and the hillside will look the way it does for several more years.

The flag in the bricks

The pizza place on the corner

The roof of a church in Henryville

Before the tornado, you couldn’t see those houses

I’ve tried as hard as I can, but I still can’t get rid of the panic every time someone doesn’t answer their phone. Part of me knows that they just couldn’t make it to the phone. But another part of me says, maybe something happened. And for some reason, the sensible part of me listens. So I start freaking out until I actually hear from the person I was calling.

A ruined tree

Maybe one day it will get easier. Maybe one day the panic will go away. I don’t know.

But I do know this – the tornado came for at least one reason, and probably more. Maybe one of those reasons was for me, and I just don’t see it yet.

A house that had been stripped

Whatever the reason, it happened. And we’re recovering from it as a community. Together.

 

 

*All pictures taken April 2nd, 2012, except for the first two. *

This is what my Mom said about it on Facebook:

Today is the one year anniversary of the tornado that tore through our area. Thanks to all of you who prayed for the survivors and helped by sending gifts and donations. A quick update on some of our friends. The Hedges family stayed in their home without power and water while it was being repaired. The Lynches lost their home completely and just moved into their newly built home (on the same property) weeks ago. The Deckers chose not to rebuild on their land, but have purchased another piece and are in the process of putting up a new home now. Stephanie is walking on her prosthetics and is doing great. She is working hard on prosthetics equality and has been doing a great job speaking out. In places the area still looks like a war zone with all the downed and broken trees, but there are many new houses and a spirit of rebuilding and healing. It’s amazing how far some people have come in a year, but some people still have a ways to go. PJ

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Category: Just Thoughts
  • Lori Lynch says:

    Love you so much, Brett. Beautiful thoughts. We learn, we move on, never the same, but hopefully changed for the better. “All things work together for good who are the called according to His purpose.” Roman 8:28

    March 6, 2013 at 11:04 AM
    • Brett Jonas says:

      I love you guys too, Mrs. Lynch! 🙂 I love that Bible verse. I think of it often, when I’m having a hard time.
      Brett

      March 6, 2013 at 12:30 PM
  • Jaicey Bledsoe says:

    Awesome post Brett! 🙂 What you said about God having a purpose was so true!!!

    October 23, 2013 at 9:45 PM
    • Brett Jonas says:

      Thanks, Jaicey! I still have trouble believing that all happened, but I go back and read my posts about it occasionally and it brings it all right back. And yes, God definitely had a purpose there. I’m still not quite sure what it was, but I may never know!

      October 23, 2013 at 9:52 PM

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