March 19 will be a day I'll never forget. It was a normal day, so I thought. It was the first day of spring break and I was starting my volunteer placement hours for my social work class. All that day there were threats of severe weather. The sky was unsettling peaceful that day. It didn't rain it was just dark and cloudy.
I had a long day and was so ready to get home and take a nice nap and later to start some homework. I took a picture for Snapchat it was a picture of my ceiling fan and said nap time do not disturb, I also posted on facebook " I'm taking a nap, don't call me unless you are my momma or Jesus". My phone was dead, so I charged it. Upon waking up, I saw a missed called from my mom. How ironic.
She left a voice message. " Hey pookie, I hope you're inside safe and not out here couponing like your momma, You don't have to call me back. love you!" I was groggy and wanted to roll over and go back to sleep. In guilt, I decided to call back and I'm glad I did. My mom told how bad the weather was. I remember telling her I haven't heard anything so I turned on the news.
I was horrified at what I saw. The whole city was covered in red. My heart sunk. I threw on some clothes because I was gonna try to drive to my parents. That was a great option until the neurologist put my city under a tornado warning. Since I was a little girl I hated severe weather.
I would make me nauseous and make my palms sweaty I had just recently started to get over it. My biggest fear was a tornado hitting Jacksonville. While on the phone with my parents I started to panic " What do I do?" I was in the worst places, the top floor of my apartment. I couldn't leave the apartment, It was spring break and no one would be home. I'd be playing the lottery with my life.
"GET IN THE BATHTUB!" Both my mom and dad yelled through the phone.
I quickly grabbed some blankets and towels but before that I through my headboard over my window and with God-like strength, I yanked my mattress off my bed and dragged it into my bathroom. I tried to put as many barriers between me and the outside.
Time seemed to have gone by fast. All I could remember is clutching my phone like I was hugging my parents. I could hear the wind picking up and suddenly heard things breaking and knocking around. I screamed. It's here! It's here! I had the feeling that in the next few minutes I finally see what eternity looks like. I could hear my parents praying on the phone. I cried out to God and ask him to forgive me of all my sins, and told him I wanted to be with him.
I couldn't say anything else but Jesus over and over again. I felt the bathtub shaking like a flimsy piece of plastic I closed my eyes tight and hoped it would be over soon. Just as fast AS IT came it left. I sat in the bathtub assessing if It was safe to come out yet. I did not realize the devastation that laid behind my bathroom door. I had to be rescued by the fire department. I remember the eerie sound of rain and the fire alarms going off it was calm yet unsettling.
The fireman led me out of the bathroom to whatever remnants were left of my room. it was destroyed. I couldn't recognize it. my heart rate began to rise as I became aware of what I just went through. My imagination did not prepare me for what I was about to see. My apartment was gone. I began to cry.
The fireman told me "It's okay, look all this can be replaced, you are safe that's all that matters". He was right. I escaped this tornado with a few scratches and bruised knee and my life. The devastation of that day has made a lasting effect on me. It's got a little better every day but I'm still not looking forward to the spring and summer months.
I pray that it's getting easier for my family and friends here in Jacksonville. I'm amazed at all the support we've been getting and love how the community can come together during times of distress.