It's hard to remember how long it has been since we had a day like today with a steady, gentle rain all day long. Today is the kind of day you feel like making a big pot of soup and napping on the couch in between made-for-TV movies. It's the kind of day that brings rest to weary farmers who have been pushing to get their crops out of the field. And it's the kind of day that is a far cry from the sirens and storms that passed through our tiny slice of heaven just over a week ago.
I can't describe the emotions a person feels while in the midst of a tornado warning or after seeing the destruction. My perspective has significantly changed since becoming a mother. The anxiety of the situation is nearly unbearable. All I could think about was getting my boy and grandmother to a safe place the second those sirens went off. Thank goodness for the early warning on that fateful afternoon, and kudos to the storm spotters. This is my first up-close experience with a tornado, and I hope it is my last.
Unfortunately, the reality of the destruction doesn't really sink in until it happens to someone you know or someplace you drive by everyday. When you see things like this on TV, you might think to yourself for a few seconds or minutes, "Oh, those poor people, " but you can move on and be thankful that it wasn't you. When those pictures of familiar places in and around Wayne started coming across the television, it was an entirely different story. Knowing that so many people were affected by the damage, yet not quite knowing what to do to help fix things is the worst feeling. I hate seeing the destruction. I hate that feeling of "where do we start?" Like most strong storms that pass through the area, you just want to spend the next morning cleaning up tree branches and anything else that wasn't strapped down and be done with the cleanup. Instead, there is a pit in bottom of my stomach that aches for the businesses and the families who have to assess the damage, who have to wait on insurance, who have to salvage what's left, and who have to rebuild.
What made me stop to think about all of this was a visit with an old friend and neighbor lady on Friday evening while on my way home from work. She buys eggs from my mom and recycles our old copies of the Wayne Herald to share with her family and friends in other states. She had several close relatives affected by the tornado. During our conversation, she point blank asked me what I would do if I was them. Without hesitation, I said, "Rebuild." She cocked her head and looked at me like I was half crazy. Staring at each other, I thought, "What else would I do? Where else would I go?" Then, after thinking about it for a few seconds, she agreed that would be the best option. After all, this is the only life I've ever known. The farthest I've ever lived from the farm I grew up on is 10 miles. All of my immediate family, my husband, my son, my livelihood, and my home are all within a 10 mile radius. To me, the question is a no-brainer. For a life that's already been built, rebuilding should come as second nature. You can call me crazy, but this is my home.
This is Wayne. This is our home, our life, our future. Things might look a little out of place right now, but I'm excited to see what the future holds for the numerous businesses ready to get back up and running. In a few months, I'm sure we will all like what we see in Wayne's Industrial Park and all along the path of the destruction. We will rebuild. Welcome Home.