Quite a crazy weekend in Nashville. What started off as somewhat of a joke among pregnant friends has unfortunately lost much of its humor.
With less than a week and a half to go until our due date, the prospect of a full moon and low pressure system coming through sounded like the perfect ticket to an early delivery. At dinner on Friday with friends who are also due this coming week, we laughed at the idea of all meeting up again at the hospital later that night. You know what they say, with a full moon comes a packed maternity ward. Although it may sound like an old wive’s tale, there’s actually some truth to it. Hospitals will typically staff up for storms and a full moon in preparation for the coming crowd. So there we were, two very pregnant women gearing up to howl at the moon.
Oddly though, no contractions. No water breaking. Not a peep. Seems our little girl was much to cozy and comfortable to come out in a storm, and in the end we were so thankful she didn’t. By noon on Saturday the weather had really picked up. Sirens were going off near our house and local weather anchors were tracking new tornado warnings every few hours. The rain would not let up and from the upstairs window we could see the creek overflowing its banks across the neighborhood. Reports came in that many roads were flooded and the shortest route to the hospital had become unpassable. Not so good. We went to sleep watching the storms trek through and woke up with sirens blaring once again.
By late Sunday afternoon, when the skies had finally run dry, the news stations began to air reports of the damage. We were amazed to see so many homes under water in communities that would never have thought it possible. Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital reported flooding on the first floor, in the ER and a fire in the basement. The Cumberland River was rising to beat all estimates and most major roads in and out of the city were closed. How quickly things had gone from bad to worse.
Last year in January, when temperatures dropped into the single digits, a sprinkler pipe in our house froze and burst while we were out on a Friday night. We came home to find our entire first floor soaked in water and covered in dirty gray insulation – the remnants of a tidal wave which had raged through the house when the force of the water broke through the ceiling in our entry hall. It was a disaster and as we struggled to make sense of what had happened and where to start the clean up, my body went into shock. The chill in the air and the sheer immensity of it all left me shivering most the night. Although we were out of the house for almost four months as it was being repaired, we counted ourselves so blessed to have had the damage contained only to the first floor and to have been able to stay with family nearby. It was an experience I’d never like to repeat, but in all honesty it’s one I’m grateful for in the end. It strengthened us as a couple and more importantly, it reminded us of just how fragile material things can be.
Tonight as I watch people being rescued from their homes and as they pan over communities awash in the flood waters, I can’t help but flash back to that night. We didn’t lose it all. We didn’t even lose much in the grand scheme of things – so I can only imagine the shock that so many of our neighbors here in town are having to go through now. Our prayers go out to all those who are struggling because of this weekend’s wild storms. May tomorrow bring clear skies, hope and the beauty of human compassion as we all try our best to lend a hand.