Yesterday I started my tale of our eventful trip home and so here is part two:
As the girls and I got settled into the hotel room my friend Daphne and her three kids showed up. Her husband and brother were with WB trying to get the car back to town and to the shop. Daphne's teenage daughter agreed to watch all the kids while we ran to Sonic to get dinner for everyone.
On the way we stopped to see her father, who is under Hospice care at a nursing home in town. As I watched her talk to her father, who has been put into a vegetative state by a series of strokes, I contemplated how precious life truly is. Just a short hour ago I sat burning up in a broken down car, unsure how to precede with my very put out husband, and wondering why this had to happen to us. Now I sat in a nursing home watching my dear friend talk to her father as she suctioned out his mouth and checked on his feeding tube. I thought of his life and the long road he took to this point. I thought of my friend and the unexpected twist her life took a couple of months ago at the onset of his illness. I thought of the anger and the frustration over being stuck two hours from home and realized this was just a small pit stop for us, a barely perceptible bump in the road. I would struggle to remember that in a few short hours.
Back at the hotel we met up with WB and Daphne's husband. WB had unloaded all our things from the suburban into our room and after some quick goodbyes he left with our friends to head home. The girls and I decided to run next door to the convenience store before it got dark for a few snacks to get us through the night. We got all sorts of goodies and some drinks and walked back to the hotel in the stifling heat. Evan Almighty was on and I closed the window drapes as we all settled in to watch Evan as he humorously questioned God's request and built an ark. At the end of the movie we all put on our pjs. I turned the TV to a local station and immediately saw a weather bulletin on the screen just as our phone rang. It was the front desk calling to inform us that we were under a tornado warning and everyone was gathering in the breakfast area. Quickly, we got dressed and headed out. There were three older couples and a couple younger ones, each with one small child. Tiger Woods was on the big screen TV as he tied up the golf tournament and one gentlemen sat in the corner with his laptop. He would update us on the storm as it blew through. Everyone chatted and laughed and I was thankful for the distraction. We got a little rain, the tornado warning went off the TV screen and people began to filter back to their rooms. Em was too scared to go back so we decided to hang out in the breakfast area for a little while and watch TV. I was talking to my Dad on my cell when suddenly the power went off. I quickly got off the phone and made sure my kids were under the tables. Everyone started filling the room back up with reports of hearing the warning sirens going off. Soon the pattering of hail, rain and wind could be heard. Even though there was one story above us and we were in the center of the building, I felt like we were inside a bag of microwave popcorn that was being cooked. Em clutched Little One's baby blanket and several times told me, "But I don't want to die." I tried to comfort her and told her it would be fine. Soph's calm demeanor made me smile. Under the emergency lighting of the hotel I could make out her little lips moving. I knew she was praying. Later she would tell me she had prayed to Champ, Jesus, and Mary to keep us safe. Little One was entertained by the other babies and never once fussed or struggled. The noise outside became increasingly louder and a steady roar could be heard above the knocking of the hail...