Mary and the Tornado Oct 3, 2010 10:53:52 GMT -5
Post by John on Oct 3, 2010 10:53:52 GMT -5
Mary & The Tornado
(an excerpt from the book I am currently working on...)
On the morning of July 7th 1977, I was awoken by the bright sun suddenly shining across my face. It was a beautiful morning, perhaps another hot and humid day, but to an eleven year old enjoying every moment of the summer vacation it didn’t matter… As long as it wasn’t raining.
I got out of bed shortly before 9:00am and headed into the kitchen for breakfast. Nancy, my older sister by two years was already up and being a diabetic was preparing her morning insulin while mom sat at the dining room table staring intently out the window. As I reached in the cupboard for a bowl to pour myself some cereal mom suddenly jumped to her feet and yelled, “We’re heading downstairs NOW!” She quickly ran and grabbed both my sister and I by the arms in a frenzy attempting to pull us towards the basement door.
“Mom, what are you doin’!” Demanded my sister.
‘Let’s go!!” She yelled offering no explanation.
Some thirty odd years later the memories of that morning remain vividly embedded in my brain. Suddenly the three of us were heading into the basement and as I passed the same kitchen window mom had been staring out of only seconds earlier I caught a split second glimpse of an image that would remain with me forever. I saw but only for a brief moment a pitch black rapidly swirling cone shaped cloud about the width of a farmers silo dropping down in our wheat field maybe only a hundred feet from our house. The next thing I knew, the three of us were huddled together on the floor in a dark corner of the fruit cellar. It was pitch black! Mom held on to us tightly as she began to pray the Rosary aloud.
I will never forget the continual ear piecing screams of my sister as the roar of the winds got louder and louder. I just wanted her to stop screaming. The more she screamed the more frightened I became. Mom just kept praying and holding us tightly. I sat there frozen in fear unable to scream, unable to cry, unable to pray… It was as if a locomotive train was barreling right through our house! The house shook violently for what seemed an eternity. Mom continued to pray aloud one Hail Mary after another. I tried to pray with her but silently in my head. We might have reached 6 maybe 7 Hail Mary’s before the noise suddenly stopped and there was an instant rush of calm in the air.
A dead calm. We sat there huddled together holding onto each other tight a few more minutes as mom finished the decade. We were sobbing. We were shaking. But we were okay. Natural sunlight began shining through the basement windows once again illuminating the dark cellar. I remember mom rubbing our backs and consoling us telling us its okay now, everything’s okay.
When we emerged from the basement we began to assess the damage. In comparison to what the situation easily could have been things were not that bad at all. A living room window had blown out during the storm leaving about an inch of water to saturate the carpet. That was the only damage our home received. Even the phone still worked and naturally, mom phoned dad at work immediately to let him know what just happened and that everyone was okay.
Right from the start before even attempting to assess the damage mom accredited our safety to being nothing short of a miracle. God spared us from what could have been a very sad and horrible tragedy. And she didn’t hesitate to give God all the due glory! She must have said, “Thank God!” a thousand times that morning! Yes, it was truly a miracle that we were alive and uninjured! But the greatest evidence of the miraculous we were yet to discover came once we stepped outside the house to examine the property.
Our wheat field which the twister had dropped onto when it began to make a beeline straight for our house told the whole story. The field butted up against the driveway parallel the house. You see, a snake like zigzagged pattern path of flattened winter wheat perhaps 30 feet wide making its way through the field and continuing right towards our home suddenly made an abrupt 90 degree turn just shy of the house at the edge of the field abutting the driveway. The snake like path took off in totally different direction and now headed completely away from our home. It was utterly amazing! It was an unarguable reality. This tornado headed straight for our home but just before hitting us dead center, as if it changed its mind and as if a tornado actually had a mind to change, it made an abrupt turn and headed the opposite direction.
To comprehend this took both faith and logical truth. And to the faithful, the truth is, hearing the pleas of my own mother and the frantic cries of two very frightened young children, Our Blessed Mother interceded on our behalf and God listened to Her and responded to those pleas. Answering these prayers heaven stood there in those terrifying moments protecting our home forcing a very powerful twister to suddenly change course so that we might be spared. Indeed, Our Blessed Mother interceded! And it was what any mother would do to protect her precious children!
The twister had hopped, skipped, and jumped throughout the region that morning touching down in various fields leveling at least one farmers barn, ripping off roof shingles, uprooting trees, downing power lines, and of course flattening wheat fields, but never once did it touch let alone harm a single living soul. Not one person killed or left injured even though the twister made its way from our town and through two neighboring towns before eventually vanishing into the atmosphere never to be seen again. It was truly a Rosary miracle straight from our Mother’s Heart!