If I Can Survive the Storm, You Can Too – Blessed Survivor of the Hazelwood Tornado

In the midst of a storm, always keep your head up. As hard as it is, remember that a storm is temporary. Whether it be a storm of traumatic events or you’re going through an actual storm, it’ll soon pass over. I’ve been so happy and thankful lately; I didn’t think once about a storm heading my way. I’m used to hearing sirens blare and it turns out to be a false alarm. I’m used to crazy situations and having to figure out how to get through it. I’m used to having faith in God to make me strong enough to endure such things. He definitely brought that strength out last night.

I was having a video chat session with the publisher, Keith Griffin of Delux Magazine. My connection was bad and I couldn’t figure out why. Then I received a emergency text from the school I attend, Lindenwood University.Image
That caught my attention, but still didn’t wake me up, unfortunately. I then texted Keith about the weather and he instantly understood and also told me to take cover. I didn’t think it was that serious. Then Keith said, “Well there’s only two minutes of the storm left so you’re good.”Then it happened. The windows started shaking. My power flicked on and off. And my son began to worry. I ran to put shoes on. Grabbed my son and ran down the first flight of steps. Instantly, I saw the gusts of the tornado right in front of the entrance window to my building! I saw branches be lifted, heavy winds grabbing things, the swirling motion scared me so bad, I screamed!!
But I had to catch myself and remember we were in danger. I covered my son and we ran down the basement for cover. There were other scared tenants in a storage closet so we joined them. It sounded like the tornado had shortly lifted after we made it downstairs, but no one moved until we got the OK.Image
After being able to retrieve a few items (of course I grabbed my laptop and tablet), we weren’t able to stay in the apartment building. The roof had caved in. So my son and I then headed to the car. We couldn’t drive out due to being trapped by knocked down power lines and trees. So my son and I just sat in the car and listened to music. I joked around with him to see him smile because he was scared he’d lose me, his mommy.

After we calmed down, the fire fighters entered the complex and ordered everyone to get in ambulance trucks to go to a nearby elementary school. I am so thankful because they provided safe shelter for us all. Even the American Red Cross came by and brought drinks and snacks and blankets.

I was then approached by Hazelwood Councilwoman Carol Stroker. She offered her condolences and just made sure that we were okay. I’m so thankful. So blessed.

The moment when I saw the tornado winds keeps flashing through my mind. I feel like a part of me is gone. And it pretty much is. Teson Garden Apartments was my home. Our community was so friendly. All parents helped one another out when need be with no question. Wednesday night when it happened, I was just happy to have lived through it with no injuries. Yesterday (Thursday), that’s when the emotion kicked in. I cried from the gratefulness of my life. I also cried after seeing the aftermath and facing reality.

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Everyone will have to find a new home. Everyone will need to start over. But I have to look at it in a positive light. Although I have a numb feeling like someone died, I know this too will pass. There is a reason for everything and this may be a beginning of a new season for me and my son. I can’t wait to see what blessings are ahead of me. Now I can live with this testimony. In the midst of the storm I was still able to smile, laugh and appreciate the gift of life.
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13 thoughts on “If I Can Survive the Storm, You Can Too – Blessed Survivor of the Hazelwood Tornado

  1. kausarbilal says:

    I am really sorry to know about it all. Thank God you both were saved. It’s really true that everything happens for a reason. Wish you all the best, even beyond your expectations and imaginations!
    Kindly keep us informed that you are all right.

  2. V. Guyse says:

    Winnie it blessed me to read your “testimony” you know it goes without saying we’re here if you and Sydney need us. On a different note I’ve been reading your blog since I found out about itI’m so proud of you..you got talent kid! Your other mom 🙂

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