We've been moving non-stop for the last two weeks. We've been furiously trying to take care of some items that our appraiser was requiring before checking the complete box on the form. We have been extremely busy, frustrated, tense and tired.
We have stayed up late every night trying to make sure as much of our project was done as possible.
Sunday evening we stayed up until 4:30 in the morning when we finally just could not do another task. We went to bed, got up and went to work for the day, saying a prayer that what we had completed would check off his concerns and we could all go about our lives. We met the appraiser right before 1pm and unfortunately we didn't leave the meeting feeling good. We have no idea what he'll say on his report. He didn't leave us with warm fuzzy feelings. We were led to believe early on that there are only a few appraisers in the metro that typically perform these types of potential value appraisals and that he had not performed this type of rehab appraisal before. If that's the case, it is very obvious to us that this is his first attempt at one. We were tired and frustrated after our appointment feeling angry and ready to be done with the process. Sure we still have things we would like to do with the house. But we can guarantee that the house has increased in value, the purpose of the entire project. There is a fully remodeled kitchen and two brand new bathrooms. We have bedrooms and closets. We have a home and we have no intention of leaving it any time soon. We plan to be here for a long while. One day we will replace windows, replace the broken concrete drive, etc. We just want to be out of the stress and weight of "not being done". We want to be on our timeline not the bank's. We couldn't think about much else after he left. Were we done? Were we not? How much more awful could a Monday get?
A few hours later, Monday got to be pretty awful.
Our metro was hit by an extremely dangerous and deadly tornado. Just 12 miles south of our house, homes and buildings were completely destroyed. Twelve miles. Families were separated. Children were trapped. I watched the news from my desk in horror, Paul doing the same from our house. I stayed at the office until I knew things were clear but very little work occurred. All you could see in my office were people checking their phones, watching television, streaming the newscast on their laptops. We know some people in the Moore area, all safe thankfully, but I still cried. If you've never seen the aftermath of a tornado, it's extremely difficult to explain. This tornado was extremely large, and powerful. Everything it touched is completely decimated.
All of a sudden, our visit with our appraiser wasn't all that big of a deal. He can check the not-complete box for all I care. There are people who have lost everything and while their homes and their cars can be replaced, lost family members cannot. Whether or not some guy liked the condition of my wood floors or not is beyond trivial.
One of the videos I watched last night was of a guy exiting his tornado shelter while video taping. I saw what he saw when he came out. It was unbelievable and his only words were, "God giveth and God taketh away". We have been so blessed by this home already and the idea of losing it is hard. But his video was the reminder I needed that this home, while a safe haven for my family, is nothing but bricks and wood. It and it's safety are a gift and I need to remember everyday that I walk through the door that I might not have it tomorrow and to use it wisely until then.
Please say prayers for the City of Moore. They are hurting and grieving. I know that our metro will time and time again take care of one another and I am thankful for that. Our preacher tweeted something earlier that explains why we stay here. People think we're crazy for living here after what happened yesterday, but what will happen over the course of today and the next few weeks is why we stay. We'd be crazy to leave. The people here have big hearts and so much concern for one another. We will do whatever it takes to relieve those affected. I am thankful for our City and that we have the capability to help.
I know that shelters have been set up all over the south metro for those without a place to stay. If you know of someone that needs somewhere to stay other than those shelters, or past the time they can stay there, please let us know. We have a large and empty house that needs to be used wisely.
The amount of love and concern that has been extended to us from friends and family and even their extended friends from around the US and the world has been overwhelming. We are continuing to get texts from my in-laws saying that the calls, texts and emails have been pouring in checking on us.
We are all, every single person on this earth, blessed. Let's all take our daily dose of perspective.