The day my heart stopped for 2.5 hours

At 3:00pm (CST) on Friday, March 2nd, I received the most horrifying news that no mother ever wants to hear. My son’s high school was wiped out by a tornado and I was 200 miles away. It was hours before more information came rolling in as I waited, with my heart in my throat, for word from my son. It was the longest hours of my life. I had no idea if he was AT school, at a friends, or lying in a ditch somewhere dead or dying. 

Friends from all over Southern Indiana (and across the country) were reassuring me that he was fine, but nothing they could possibly say would soothe my heart until I heard from him myself. It wasn't until 5:37pm that I finally got a message from him via a friends Facebook profile saying "I'm okay, mum." Then later he was able to text me more details, but I'm still waiting for a full account of the day. 

I must say that my son is a real trooper. I heard from a former girlfriend of his, that he was calming her on the bus when she was having a major anxiety attack. Once he was safe and starting to relax a little, he realized that his trumpet was in the wreckage that was once his high school. I'm still waiting to hear how exactly he found out that his trumpet was ok, but he did tell me it was. I know this sounds like the silliest of concerns, but as a Junior in high school, he is working very diligently toward earning scholarships and that is his main instrument. If your potential college education was dependent on something you thought you'd lost in a tornado, it would seem like a HUGE deal to you! 

These photos were harvested from a variety of sources and while it's not my intent to violate any copyright laws, I lost track of where they all came from. If you spot one that belongs to you and you want me to remove it, I will gladly.

One of the roads to my son's home in Henryville, IN


  1. I retweeted your tweet from @thebloggess, I graduated HHS in 2004 and live in Chicago, my aunt works in the library and I was a band member. If your son needs a new trumpet he will get one, I contacted Mrs. L this morning to let her know I will fundraise the heck out of Chicago to get whatever I can for the kids.

    1. I don't think he's heard what the condition of the band room is at this point, but he was given some hope that the instruments were spared. I don't think many people (outside of Henryville) realize how important the band is to the town. I am not from there and over the past few years have been amazed at the love and dedication that is devoted to the Henryville Golden Band. Waiting also to hear if they will be able to finish the season of Winter Percussion competitions. I don't know how well drums hold up to the kind of pressure changes that a tornado can cause.
      Thank you so much for your retweet and your support. I know the folks of Henryville are thankful for every bit of support.