I think it was a siren that brought me out of my nap yesterday. A tornado siren. I came out and we turned on the news and indeed a major line of storms was marching towards our city and we were under a tornado warning. Images of huge funnel clouds we being set in by viewers to our west. The siren kept sounding. What should we do? We have only one spot in our house that is not on an external wall and is not near any windows, a narrow passageway back to our bedroom. It is a crowded passageway as it functions as our pantry, with a heavy metal shelf loaded down, and with all sorts of plastic storage containers strewn about (we really need to come up with a storage solution!), and a tall skinny bookshelf loaded down with stuff, oh… and some large permanent fixture that has something to do with the HVAC. As the line of storms marched closer and closer, we went back there with blankets. As we waited there, I thought “Seriously, if a tornado ripped the roof off this one story house, this heavy metal shelving would probably fall over on us. We’d probably be goners. We have got to find a better plan.” But… we have no basement. No big closets. Only a tiny bathtub rather near a window… So… we need to make some nearby friends with a safer spot. But who? After the threat seemed to pass, we talked about heading to church when such weather is approaching in the future. Kev has a key. There is a basement. But it is 2 miles away. Is this the best plan?
I remember in college telling a friend from Iowa that I thought it would be cool to be in a tornado. She looked at me with a look of abject horror. “IT IS NOT COOL! IT IS TERRIBLE!” “O.K.,” I said.
A mother and baby in a southern suburb of our city were killed yesterday.
It is terrible.
I was singing “Give Me Jesus” to Caroline last night, and when I came to the last verse “And when I come to die… Give me Jesus.” I got chills. I realized that, for the first time in my life, I’m afraid of death. I’ve always been uncannily chill about it. I’ll die someday. We all will. But in life and in death we belong to God. So, though I have NO IDEA what death will be like, I trust it will be o.k.. Or at least I did.
Is it because I now have a baby whom I want to see grow up into a girl and then a woman?
Is it because I’m getting older and death is more imaginable. Did I have the immortality of youth that I didn’t think I had (what with all the funerals I have done… and being the granddaughter of a funeral director…), but now it is fading?
And then last night Kev and I watched a video that I found over at Pinkhammer’s place which effectively conveyed the unbelievable exponential rate at which technology is advancing… among other things… and it scared the crap out of me. It seems to me that such development cannot be infinite… but it also feels like humans won’t settle for anything less… and that we’re on a fast track to total destruction. Perhaps I shouldn’t have gotten so into Battlestar.
What scares me exactly? I’m not sure. I don’t think I am afraid of eternal punishment. I just can’t fathom that. It is more… the thought of ceasing to exist which scares me. I had an elderly parishioner say at a Bible Study that the only thing that bothered her about the fact that she would some day die, was all that she wouldn’t get to see, like what became of me, for example. I thought that was sweet then. I think I feel what she means now. It may be that.
I don’t know.
But it is a new feeling.
And a mother and baby were killed in a tornado, not far from here, yesterday.
And that’s scary.