Friday, April 27, 2012

one year anniversary : april 27th, 2011

i cannot even express in writing how much has changed in a year. i haven't decided how personal i would like for this post to be, so i am just going to write and see what comes out.

april 27th, 2011 is a day i will always remember. it was a day like any other day. i was out applying for summer jobs. the sky was dark and the traffic was heavy as it was late afternoon. the wind was intense, and i had to shove my application to a newly built greek restaurant under the door so it wouldn't blow away. 30 minutes before the storm hit, i was driving down 15th street listening to the radio. i got a phonecall from the manager of the greek restaurant. he had stopped by to pick up the applications that had been turned in that day.

"they say the weather is going to be bad, you should probably head home. we can set up an interview next week."

had i not decided to heed the warning i heard about weather and give up my job search for the day, i would have been right in the thick of the tornado. my only regret is that i didn't look around me and take in the scenery one last time before i headed back to campus. little did i know, it would be the last time i saw any of it.

to this day, my friends & i still struggle with what happened. i don't like viewing pictures of it, and video is far more frightening. although other towns and communities were devastated by storms last year as well, i feel that everyone has their own personal horror story - none are more terrifying than others, each holds its own devastating weight in someone's heart.

that day, i learned who my true friends were. the people i can count on were there for me and we saw each other to safety. we cried together, held each other and watched it all unfold. i will never forget waking up on april 28th, 2011 and wondering if it had all been a dream.

as i write this a year later, i still can't find a "point" to this post. my intention, i suppose, is to show that there is life after disaster. time heals and the world keeps turning. but nothing is ever forgotten and the pain is a scar now that is still visible. it's still there. april 27th is something i still think about, and always will. i cannot bring myself to say something like, "it happened for a reason" because no, it didn't. there was no rhyme or reason for the lives lost that day. it was a "one hundred year event" - something so colossally incomprehensible that it only happens once a century.

please remember to heed the warnings given by your local weather station. never again will i ignore a siren or an order to find shelter. while i imagined that day would be like any other, it changed my life and the lives of my peers. i am grateful to be alive, i am grateful that the people i love are alive, and i am grateful that my community is coming back. the mcdonalds on 15th street opened yesterday after being completely rebuilt from the ground up - i don't even eat mcdonalds, but i have never been so happy to see one in my life. there is lots of progress still to be made.

"mostly it is loss that teaches us about the worth of things." - arthur schopenhauer

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting on my blog! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at hello@meredithnoelle.com.