May 1- brings such beauty as every spring, it just feels so much more ALIVE outside on the first of may.
May 2- The dream happens again and again and all I can do is take sleeping pills hoping that with those and meditation the dream wont come but it does.
May 3- I remember seven years ago watching you work on the finishing touches of the farm house, the new siding was glowing white, and it looked beautiful, only a few more panels to be put on. My heart starts to ache as if a mix of anxiety and pain try to attack the now frozen muscle hidden in my chest. We took family pictures that day. The first grandchild you had from your only daughter was growing inside of me and none of us knew. You looked terrible, you were so sick.
May 4- I was working, Adam was with you and papa. You guys had worked all day to finish the house. I was excited to see it! Adam and I lived in Monett and the storms were all over the radio but the sky was clear as we stood out in the driveway grilling steaks watching the darkness move over the north joking about how beautiful it was at our house when the sirens went off. We jumped in the car and took off towards Pierce City when my cell phone rang. It was you, telling us not to come over as planned because the house was shredded and the farm gone. It was the last cell phone conversation anyone in that area would have for a while, I’m still not sure how you got through to me. Against your wishes we tried to get to you….finally parking at the catholic cemetery. I remember the red old navy flip flops I had on slapping against my feet as I ran as fast as I could jumping over fallen trees and live powerlines. Tears running down my face not knowing what I would find when I got to you. When I first saw our town, my home town, the place I urged so much to be away from gone my heart broke and I ran faster. The distruction was horrific. It was probably only a two mile run from our car to your house but when I reached the driveway I couldn’t tell which end was up. The horses were bleeding, the dogs had debris in their hair. You were walking circles while papa made make shift pens for the horses. I stepped on a nail as I ran towards you with my arms reached out, you yelled at me in anger, and fear then we hugged. Looking around at the land that just hours before was pristine and clean, clear and beautiful the house almost new looking now broken down, shattered and filled with glass and insulation. It was the small closet/bathroom that saved you and papa. We were all in shock. That night each of us carried an animal- having to leave the horses of course, as we took our walk into town to check on the other house. I remember thinking to myself ‘this must be what an LA riot looked like back in the 70’s) with the helicopters, spot lights, powerlines snapping in the streets and emergency vehichles everywhere. I don’t remember any sounds, only helicopters echoing through my head. As we walked past the armory we all stood in horror as the building that once was the ‘safe house’ for storms had collapsed on many from our town, and rescue workers were digging to get people out. The building that once stood as a tall fortrice type building now nothing but a pile of bricks and frantic faces.
We arrived at the house on Locust and to our amazement it was unscathed except for one broken window. HOW? When just two blocks down was the worst of the devastation, how did it miss this house? We went in and that is where we stayed, you, me, papa, Adam and the animals……. In the light of a carosine lamp trying to figure out where to go next, trying to joke about the follow day and it’s meaning. Wondering to myself, how I would play the Beatles song with no electric
May 5- Happy Birthday Mom! You turned 47. The day after that tornado literally torn so many lives apart, it was the unhappiest birthday you’d ever had. It was the beginning of the end of the celebration of birthdays all around. May 5 2003- marks the last day I ever cared about a birthday.
A week later we told you we were pregnant, Adam and I. I wasn’t supposed to have children, it felt surreal, it was a great feeling. You were so happy you bragged to your friends.
May 24th- I had a miscarriage. You blamed it on the tornado. I was between six and seven weeks along. It was five am. I had been up off and on all night with cramps, knowing what was coming b/c of my hcg levels. Adam held me all night, he was still asleep when it happened. I did what the doctor said, I picked my child up and sat in the bathroom on the floor in tears and blood. You were the first person I called. What light the pregnancy had brought back to you after your sickness, and the distruction of that tornado went away that day. We cried so hard together, it was your first grand baby, one you would have met before your death that was staring us all in the face anyways. Your frail face held tears until they were streaming so quickly it was as if a dam had busted. That was the day you lost hope.
Jaida at age two - Your angel in the backgroundHowever, years have come and passed. As you know Jaida May Worm was born almost exactly a year from the date we lost the first baby. I know it was your gift to me for leaving me just weeks before my own birthday. I know you, and adams dad and God sat and had a meeting, making a decision that would forever reflect both of you when we look into her eyes. She has your spirit, and your heart. She has his bravery and strength. The rest she got from Adam and I but we know every day where she really came from and so even though her birthday is really and truly the only one I celebrate with true happy tears in my eyes, a real smile on my face and hope in my heart. Tomorrow is your birthday Mom, you would be 54 tomorrow. I could crack jokes at your age and pluck grey hairs. I could cook your favorite German Chocolate cake and sing you happy birthday. Jaida would have a card for you, hand written and colored with such care. And so, we will. That is the plan. I’ll see you tomorrow mom. Jaida has flowers she wants to plant on your island, next to your angel that protect your ashes. I will make the cake and papa will oversee the operation. We will have a glasss of wine, or maybe a whole bottle, and I’ll be sure to leave some for you. Jaida asked me the other day if she can leave a piece of cake on your bench so if you got hungry that night you could come eat it (like santa claus). So when you see the single slice of cake at sundown, it’s for you. I’ll be sure to only put one candle on it, so we don’t burn the house down with the what would have been 54 of them. I miss you. I love you. Happy birthday.