In light of the severe weather we’re going to have in Dallas this week, here is a guest post from my friend Emily Barrett. She posted this story on Facebook a few days ago, and I asked if she would be willing to share it on my blog. Here’s to Emily for being my first guest post!
From May 21, 2014.
As a nanny, the scariest thing that could happen is that the baby could get severely hurt, kidnapped, or die. While those are all awful and terrible, nothing is as bad as finding yourself in a situation where both you and the baby could die at any moment, and no one— not even the police— could help you.
Today, a tornado touched down in Aurora, CO where I am nannying for my sister. I was alone with the sleeping baby and two dogs watching Game of Thrones like any good nanny when the TV went blank and sirens erupted from the speakers. Suddenly, the TV switched over to the news where a weatherman told me that a tornado had touched down approximately 2-4 miles from my sister’s house.
The house didn’t have a basement or a secure place to hide, so I grabbed my sleeping niece and took shelter in the garage. A now screaming baby and two barking dogs sat with me as I called my family members frantically. When I talked to my brother to say “I love you” one last time before I died, he responded jokingly, “The wicked witch is back!” We loved The Wizard of Oz as kids. He was teasing me because the beginning tornado scene was always traumatic for me. I often had nightmares of tornadoes sweeping away my family, and here I was, the nightmares melting into my real life.
Still worried about our safety, I moved us all to the stairwell with blankets and a cold bottle. We huddled down together and waited. One dog on my right, one dog on my left, and a baby on my lap: all four of us were crying and shaking. Then, the house decided to join in and began to shake and rumble. One dog peed on herself, and I did everything I could to keep everyone quiet, which did not work at all because we were all screaming by that point. I remember hysterically asking God to forgive us all and to not have us die so young. Outside the wind roared like a freight train— like the ambiguous “they” always say. The house was so loud from wind and buckets of hail pounding down that I swore the tornado was right on top of us. It sounded like a firing squad bearing down on the house. I prayed aloud through my tears and ragged breath, thinking I was going to die with my sister’s three treasures in my arms, knowing that I was completely helpless.
Twenty to thirty minutes (of panic and holding on to my life) later, the storm passed. The house was quiet again. The baby had stopped wailing and was asleep in my arms. The dogs were no longer whimpering. Peeking through the window, I looked outside to find about a half foot of peanut M&M sized hail shining in the sunshine.
By the grace of God, I survived my childhood nightmare. We are all alive, and there was no damage except to the newly planted vegetable garden. I learned today that God is real, and life should not be taken for granted.
Hopefully this Auntie Emily and her Dorothy (Piper) don’t have any more adventures to Oz this summer.
Emily Barrett— amateur artist and writer from New Orleans who specializes in baked goods and binge watching Netflix. She also enjoys fashion, fangirling, being a complete nerd (in and out of school), and adventuring in her free time.
Tornado image from http://realestateyak.com/2009/06/08/homes-for-sale-tornado-not-included/