It’s been the summer of storms in Virginia.
On Tuesday, a freak thunderstorm with high winds whipped through our neighborhood.
My five-year-old, Gus, was sitting at the kitchen table. The winds were so strong, the storm so loud, that my husband took the boys into the bedroom.
Five minutes later, a white oak snapped off at the middle and fell, taking another white oak, a dogwood and more with it, right into my house.
The ceiling in the kitchen came crashing down, all over the table where Gus has been sitting just five minutes before. White chalky dry wall, pink insulation, everywhere. When we looked up, we could see sky.
But that wasn’t all. The tree was so big, there were so many limbs and branches, it poked holes through the roof and the windows.
The skylight smashed, raining down glass and leaves into the living room.
The tree came through the bathroom. Limbs broke through the picture window in the kitchen. It crushed the deck, split the garage in half, and came through the windows in the boys’ room.
There was glass, all over the pillow, where my son normally slept.
I walked through the house, shaking from head to toe, finding all the damage. I thought, stupidly, I need to get a tarp to cover the floors. I thought, It’s not that bad, it’s not that bad.
The insurance adjustor came a few days later and said, “This is bad.”
There is water damage throughout the home. The walls are going to have to come down, the floors are going to have to come up. No one knows how to fix the skylights, where to even start to replace them.
They say it’s going to take three to six months to put my house back together again.
The house where I put all my dreams.
I just keep walking through the wreckage, thinking, This can’t be happening. This isn’t happening.
But it is. This is what’s happening right now.