Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Omen in Twin Tornadoes

Wednesday May  29 , 2002

I stood at the window mesmerized by the sight. Just moments before, blue was the pure color of a clear sky. Polka dot clouds intermittently speckled the expanse, and the birds of the air twittered their acappella chorus. Now, there was nothing but silence.

The cotton clouds morphed into cannon balls exchanging black fire. The sky turned to a cauldron of boiling vapors. Swirling violently, it mingled green and gray into a putrid stew. With fingers frozen to the pane, I watched the whirlwind dip and divide in the middle to form twin funnels. The ominous entity foretold a divine destiny.

I tried to yell, "Tornado!" but it barely whispered past the anxiety restricting my throat. Common sense told me to head for the basement of my mother-in-law's apartment. But the lioness in me, void of fear, said to go home and save my children!

The ungracious ring of a phone jerked me from my window wanderings momentarily distracting me from the dread I felt rising in my soul. My husband's mother answered it with a calm that belied the storm just outside her walls. I listened as she spoke to one of my children. Her words shocked me as she explained there was no need to be concerned or worried, they would be okay, it was only a windstorm.

Frantically, I bellowed, "Let me talk to them!" But she quietly placed the phone in it's cradle as if tucking in a sleeping baby. From somewhere there came a quiet consolation that settled in my heart. I had taught them what to do. They knew the way to safety.

Drawn from my thoughts, I heard the sound of unfamiliar voices behind me and I turned to find one end of the basement room filled with people from the apartment building. I sensed my husband's presence among the crowd but I could not see him. His mother was laying out trays of food and socializing with her neighbors, oblivious to the impending danger touching down in the west.

Like a magic act, my spouse was gone in a flash and my youngest daughter was standing in his place. Terror shot me into action. Knowing we would be safe on the opposite end of the basement I yanked her to my side and sprinted across the room.

The sound of the wind was deafening. Pressed against the wall I could feel the savage storm shaking the block and mortar fortress as it ravaged the landscape above. Peering across the twilight room I saw the blockade begin to swell and bulge like an ocean wave. The vertical air-tide threatened to rip in and take the wall out. 

Out of the roar of the storm came a voice. Strong in presence, yet gentle, He commanded me to raise my hands against the storm. I knew, even if I wanted to, I could not disobey. Out of awesome respect, and fear of being blown away, I did as I was commanded. Facing the opposing barrier, I raised my hands to the air as if bracing the wall.  A force stronger than the twin tornadoes floated between me and the block retainer. I watched in wonder as the wall moved in waves, in and out, while my hands passed along its length.

Then, there was a settling of the wind. The wall returned to normal. We were safe. But, the others were swept away with the mighty wind; sucked into oblivion by the swirling funnel. My heart felt like an anvil had been dropped onto it.

I awoke from my nightmarish sleep. But the weight upon my spirit was crushing and sorrowful. Without a shadow of doubt I knew the dream was an ominous prophecy. The twin tornadoes were two traumas in my life. The first, was the horrible circumstances of my daughter's birth that left her disabled. The second, I knew would be her death.

I felt my heart twist, and  pain was wrung from me like one would ring out a dishcloth. I did not know the time or the day, but I knew God was preparing me for a dark and disastrous storm. It was the beginning of the end. A lethal lesson in letting go.
Wednesday June 19,  2002

A slow grower and a late bloomer, my Rose of Sharon bush had already flowered for two seasons. A year earlier it had blossomed twice. But normally by this time there would have been buds or at best open blooms. I bent down and snapped off a twig. It was dead. From above me I heard someone utter, "It will not bloom again". I can not say for sure the voice I heard was audible, but there was no mistaking the hand I felt upon my shoulder. I straightened and spun around to see who touched me. There was no one there.

The familiar, crushing sorrow I felt when awaking from my dream 21 days earlier, pressed in. The confirmation drew the breath from me. My heart pounded within my chest like a jack hammer. And I knew.

Wednesday July 10, 2002

Sharon passed away at her home today. She was a graduate of Case High School, and went on to attend UW Parkside, and Milwaukee Area Technical College. She was a member of the Wisconsin Survival Coalition "People Can't Wait". She was an extremely talented artist who loved to paint and draw. She was a medical miracle and made history in medical textbooks.  She was stubborn, independent, a survivor, and  a rebel.

She was my daughter.

She is survived by her daughter, parents, brother, sisters, and grandmother. Somewhere, her unicorn collection lives on. Most of her friends have forgotten about her but she will remain in our hearts forever.

She loved to laugh so here's to you Sharon.

I know we didn't always see eye to eye :)

You might be a redneck wheelchair user if:
There is a Harley decal stuck to your chair.
You rig up a beer cooler to your chair battery.
You install surround sound to never be without your music.
You replace your seat with a Barcolounger, found on the side of the road.
You give roadkill a whole new meaning.
You try to outrun a police cruiser.

I love you and miss you, Brat!!

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