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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
When mere seconds determine life or death....
LIfe In The Balance by Begin Again
 Category:  General Non-Fiction
  Posted: November 29, 2010      Views: 589

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 ABOUT
BEGIN AGAIN 
Begin Again is a resilient "senior citizen". Reinventing and restructuring her life has become almost common place for her.

I love music, books, and sitting by the water. Each of these activities brings a sense of life to me.
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She is an accomplished script writer and is currently at the #8 spot on the rankings.

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November 22, 2010

It was a cold, blustery day. The weatherman forecasted scattered rain, but nothing unusual. It was just another dismal fall day in Midwest America.

It was mid-afternoon and I sat impatiently in front of my computer screen unable to write. I expected a call from the medical staff at the University Hospital and I was nervous.

When my cell phone rang, I almost ejected myself from my chair. The caller ID said my youngest son, Matthew, was calling. Odd, he was working and never called during business hours. My "something's wrong" brain kicked into high gear as I flipped open the phone.

"What's wrong?"

"A tornado just hit three blocks from here. Are you okay?"

I could sense a little apprehension in his voice, but on the most part, he was calm.

"Tornado?" I glanced out the window. The sun was peeking out from behind the clouds. "The sun's shining."

"Well, we're in the bathrooms and the sirens are going off. We didn't have any warning. It just hap-"

"Matthew ... Matthew." No answer. Our call was ended.

I immediately flipped the television on to Channel 13. They were already broadcasting, but it said possible thunderstorms, nothing about a tornado.

My phone rang again.

"Nana, do you know what's going on. We don't have any power." My grandson, Nathaniel, sounded excited. "My friend said it's a tornado."

"Where are you?" My brain was in grandma mode, safety first. My eyes couldn't believe what I was watching on my television screen. I needed to know exactly what was happening.

"In the basement with the dogs."

"Good! Stay there and I'll call you right back."

Modern technology and someone with a smart phone was videoing the tornado (later classified as a EF-2 with 135 MPH winds) as it tore across the ground. Suddenly, the picture went black. I held my breath, wondering and fearing the worst. The television station meteorologist said they'd lost contact.

If I heard him correctly, the tornado was minutes past Matthew's work place and my grandson. I called Nathaniel back.

"It's moved away from your house, but stay inside, okay?"

"What about the power?"

"It's going to be out for a while. Just be careful and stay inside. I'll call you back or you call me if you need me. Love you."

"Love you, too, Nana."


Only moments later, the person was videoing again. The tornado had ripped homes apart. A school bus was lying on it's side in the cornfield. Later, I learned it had been picked up and tossed across the road. like the cow in the Wizard of Oz. Five small children were injured, but thankfully, nothing was life threatening.

The story that really made me and many others thankful though was the one about six year old girl. She was sitting in her front room, watching the storm clouds. Suddenly, she saw a black funnel cloud. She called for her Daddy. When he saw the tornado moving directly toward their house, he grabbed his daughter in one arm, and the family dog in the other, propelling all of them into the basement. Halfway down, he lost his footing. The dog yelped. The little girl screamed. The father swore. A deafening sound from above followed. Clinging to each other at the bottom of the steps, they waited.

Moments later, though I am sure it seemed like much longer, the noise was gone. Unfortunately, so was the front of the house. The exact same place the little girl had been sitting was scattered in pieces around the yard.

Meteorologists were puzzled by the event's timeline. At 3 p.m., the National Weather Bureau cancelled the possibility of severe weather. At 3:03, local weather sirens were activated. At 3:04, the sky turned deadly and Rockford, Loves Park, Caledonia, and Popular Grove were hit by tornadoes.

Over 40,000 people were without power, businesses were destroyed, homes torn apart, but fortunately no lives were lost. As they surveyed the shambles, everyone was stunned but thankful they were alive.

During a live newscast, the father and his little girl stood amidst the rubble. His only response to the media was "It's a miracle we are alive. Thank God."



Recognized

Author Notes
Thank You Angelheart for the stunning picture...It shows how one black cloud can change a day drastically.

Thank you Channel 13 Rockford, Illinois for the most up to date coverage I have ever seen and for helping save lives.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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