Sometimes life gives you some pretty big unexpected storms.
We felt some of those storms over the weekend.
Saturday July 7th 2012 is a day we will never forget in our house.
The day started off nice and calm.
Hot, sunny, humid and muggy but nice and calm.
But the calm didn't last.
Just before 2pm I received a notice of my phone of an incoming severe storm.
We don't have cable and so the only way we get storm warnings is either via the radio or phone notifications.
I looked to see what it said and told my husband (who had been off since the 4th) of the coming storm.
Suddenly it got very very dark outside.
And then it started.
Rain, Wind, Thunder, and lightening like you wouldn't believe.
Our lights went off and came back on...then the power went out and stayed out.
Knowing how fast and hard this storm was moving we began to look for signs of a tornado.
There weren't warnings of one but in our area they do happen sometimes.
I was in the bathroom when I heard what was the loudest crack of lightening and thunder at the same time.
I yelled to my husband that "That was too close for comfort!"
It then got quiet.
Always a scary thing when there's a bad storm moving through.
My husband quickly ran outside to grab our trash can and recycle bin before they blew down the street.
After he came back in I was looking out our front window, standing above our AC unit when I smelled it.
I told my husband "Hunny, I smell smoke! I don't know where it's coming from but I smell smoke."
That's when I saw it....billowing out of the house across the street from us.
My husband ran outside and as we saw other neighbors outside all realizing what was going on we asked if someone had called it in.
I had my cell phone in hand ready to call it in if no one had yet.
Someone yelled back that yes they had called it in.
Everyone began asking each other if anyone knew if the neighbor was home.
Their truck was gone but their other vehicle was in the driveway.
I had seen the truck drive away about an hour before the storm started but I didn't see who all was in it.
Unsure if possibly the woman and 2 month old baby might be home and sleeping unaware my husband began pounding on the door as hard as he could hoping if someone was inside they would hear him.
Then someone realized the dog was in the house.
A sweet pit bull named Murphy. A rescue dog.
Locked just inside the house in a dog crate.
By this point the fire department should have been here....
Where were they?...
What was taking so long?.....
My husband pulled the screen out of a back window that was thankfully unlocked, climbed inside,
unlocked the backdoor, and pulled the dog out of the house, crate and all.
Some of the other guys that were around helped him carry the crate and dog to safety next door.
Still no firefighters!....
Someone called it in again and realized what happened.
Because of the sheer volume of calls that the 911 dispatch unit was receiving the person who called it in got sent to the over flow dispatch and somehow the call never got sent over to our local department to notify our fire department.
Within 30 seconds of the person hanging up with the local dispatch unit we began to hear the sirens.
They were coming.
The fire fighters were amazing and were able to contain the fire to the attic of the house.
In them checking the fire out more they were able to tell the homeowner (who someone finally was able to get in touch with) what happened exactly.
The old TV antenna was struck by lightening.
However, because it wasn't grounded to anything the lightening split looking for a place to touch ground.
It proceeded to go down the chimney and leaning against the chimney in the attic was a mattress.
The mattress caught fire and is what fueled the flames.
The poor lady was so mad and upset that there was a mattress leaned up against the chimney thinking that if that hadn't caught fire there wouldn't have been a fire at all.
Then the Fire Chief told her how really it was a good think that the mattress caught fire... that if it didn't have somewhere to go, the lightening would have traveled the length of the chimney and they might not have been able to save the house.
That storm happened so fast.... but then a very different kind of storm ended up rocking our world again later that night....
Our electricity came back on around 6:30pm.
I was looking through facebook on my phone at around 8pm.
I noticed one of our close friend's mom post something about her daughter's Fiance.
Something serious....Something about being unconscious....
I told my husband to get on the computer fast and look to see what it was.
Unsure as to what was going on I asked him if he though I should call someone.
He said yes and I called one of the sisters.
It was real.
He had collapsed and was unconscious....his heart wasn't beating.
We began stalking our friend's facebook pages to see if there was any more information posted.
Things were coming in as bits and pieces.
His heart had stopped and he had collapsed.
They had gone for a run around the track together.
He didn't enjoy running and would teasingly flop down on the track in protest....
She did another lap after he did this and when she came back around knew something was wrong.
She check his pulse....none.
Yelled for someone to call 911 and she began to give him CPR.
Once the ambulance arrived she ran the 3 blocks back to where his sisters were to tell them what happened.
More bits and pieces....gaps in information but they went to the hospital.
His parent's weren't with them yet as they had been at a wedding.
His parent's joined them at the hospital.
Then we got the news.....
He is gone.
The were unable to revive him.
Twenty-two years old.
Instead of a wedding....a funeral.....
Instead of Joy....sorrow.....
A massive life changing storm that you can't just easily pick up the pieces from.
Everyone here in town is still cleaning up from the storm that hit the city on Saturday....
She will be picking up pieces for so much longer.
The only calm and reprieve right now in this storm....
The knowledge that God is holding all of the broken pieces, hearts, lives, everything in His hands.
Please be praying for our friends for comfort and strength.
The start of the services are exactly one month before what their wedding day was suppose to be.
With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman.