Where Were YOU on Friday the 13th?

Superstitions for Friday the 13th hasn't ever impacted me too much when this day occurs each year, until this year.

Oklahoma weathermen and the National Weather Service in Norman predicted very strong, dangerous and life-threatening storms to occur this past Friday and Saturday for almost the entire state of Oklahoma. Luckily the forecasters announced this weather almost a week in advance so everyone could prepare and have a plan for when they hear the familiar sirens. 

As Friday morning approached, I wasn't too worried {yet} about the storms since I had plenty of work to accomplish and this is normal weather for Oklahoma this time of year. I started looking through my tweets as the day went on and followed live stream video in my office of the developing storms that looked like it would be moving north of Norman. My co-worker, Laura, and I were watching the clouds get darker and darker and heard a few helicopters fly over OU campus, but figured they were moving north towards OKC to capture the storm. Minutes later, we heard the biggest clap of thunder, lights immediately go out and the sirens blow!! 
{side note: If you don't know me too well, I am absolutely terrified of three things... one being tornados}
Laura and I feel for our purse and phone and head to the center of my building with everyone else, but so confused! We could have sworn this was going to pass us! We heard updates from those who had cellphone coverage from weather apps and friends calling/texting as to where the tornado was spotted and where it's moving. We were all in the middle of the hall with nothing but walls surrounding us and some watching the clouds circulating. By this time, my body was trembling. I've never actually been through a tornado, but I can say this is the closest I've experience. The sirens went off three different times and lasted for about 20 minutes. {If you click here, you can check out a video someone posted on YouTube of the actual tornado that hit Norman.}
Damage from the Tornado 
via Zach DuFran

After it was safe to leave, I head to my parents house to make sure they were okay and they knew I was fine. The news stations were giving good coverage of the damage, already, from what just happened. I was seeing how close the tornado was to mine and my brother's house, so I just knew I was about to find my windows blown out, so I was on my way with my parents to see about any damage. Traffic was pretty slow going to my house due to uprooted trees which blocked most side streets on the way, but finally made it and was so thankful I had no damage! 
My next plan was to prepare for round #2 of tornadic weather, pack a bag with spare clothes, flashlights, water bottles, crackers/pretzels, and head to my brother's house to hang out and ready to hop in their storm shelter if needed. I had been there for about 30 minutes until I received a call from my mom frantically asking for us to come over and help! Something was wrong with my dad! We dropped everything and headed there through the s-l-o-w moving traffic. We rushed in and found my dad laying on the bed, pale as can be, in a deep sweat. He had passed out twice already and wasn't feeling any better. We immediately decided it was time to go to the ER. When we arrived to the ER, my dad warned the nurses he was about to pass out again and told them he needed to lay down. The nurses said, no, we want you to stay standing, but that didn't stop his predicted reaction. He face planted and came up with a bloody gash on his nose from his eye-glasses going into his skin. The nurses quickly got him into a room. By this point, my nerves were spiked. I was so overwhelmed and scared of the unknown, plus still recovering from the trembles of the tornado, I did all I could to fight the tears and break-down as I stood outside of my dad's room in the ER. They ran all sorts of tests, one being for his heart, but what seemed to be the problem was extreme dehydration. By the time I headed home for the night, he had already started his second bag of IV and his skin coloring/conversations were already improving. 
Round #2 had yet to come through by 11 p.m., but I couldn't wait a moment longer to fall asleep and just wanted Friday to end. 

Saturday came way too early {6 a.m.} but I had to accomplish a few things before I went back to the hospital. I arrived and saw my sister's family already visiting and my dad was feeling almost 100%. I stayed for a few hours and was glad to have been there when the doctor came and gave an update and said my dad was going to be able to leave early that evening! This was a huge relief. I guess I never realized that neither of my parents had ever been admitted to the hospital since I've been alive. It's great that they are so healthy, but it's so hard to see them so sick and you feel so helpless. 
As soon as I left the hospital, I called the boy and met up with his family to have some relief and just "chill" as all of Norman was preparing for the intense, life-threatening storms to move through the state later that evening. We went to my friend Cari and Lonnie's lovely wedding
 at the Thunderbird Chapel, where I worked for two years and was built by my sister-in-law's family! Cari was gorgeous and I wouldn't have picked a better guy for her to spend the rest of her life :) 
I had a relaxing evening and the "big storms" that were predicted didn't even come into the metro until 1:30 and 4:30 Sunday morning, but I was relieved to turn on the TV and hear it was just a thunderstorm passing through. 

Waking up hours later, knowing my dad was home, alive and well, and not seeing a cloud in the sky, was one of the best feelings in the world after what I experienced 48 hours before. Luckily, there were no reports of any fatalities from the Norman tornado on Friday, but I hated to hear of six {thus far} deaths from the violent tornados that hit Woodward. My heart goes out to the families. 

Until the next storm... {in three days...}


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