We went to rehearsal Friday. During the first run through, the tornado sirens go off and it goes from being windy to calm, which if you don’t know, that’s not a good sign.
We rush to find cover. We find out there is a small storm cellar on the property. We had quite a few kids with us, so we decide to put them in the storm cellar with an adult and the rest of us went in the bed and breakfast to listen to the radio and find cover.
The radio immediately starts telling us where the tornadoes are dropping. One near my hotel, one down a main street, one near my daughters house. I believe it was one or two tornadoes, lifting and dropping. At one point they tell us it’s heading our way, they we hear it took a turn and is heading near the college campus. It sounds like there’s lots of damage and possibly deaths. It starts really sinking in. The storm calms and we hear on the radio that it’s going to be a couple hour window for more potential tornadoes. We decide to get the kids and make a dash home where there are school near that can house us if other tornadoes come. As we near the house I begin to worry about their house. We keep heading down streets to find them block by trees and poles and fences and we back up and try another street. As we finally get close to the intersection by her house there’s police them barricading the way. A commercial building was hit there and it’s bricks and wood are scattered in the road. My daughters house is about 100 feet from this building, so I become very worried. We are finally able to get to the house and besides some minor exterior damage, all is ok.
The plan was to have the rehearsal dinner over at my daughters’ house. The power is out and would be out for about 6 hours. Luckily we were mostly grilling, so we get out the grill and start getting the food ready. We wait for more storms, but none come. A news crew stopped by the house and interviewed some of us. Helicopters circled overhead for several hours. Power doesn’t come on until after 9PM, but we were fine in the dark.
We get news that the cake store that they got their cake from lost its’ roof. I drive to the store to check on the cake. The had also lost their windows, but they ensured me the cake survived. I take that news back to my daughter.
We are told the tornadoes the next day (which was the wedding day) are going to potentially be worse. They weren’t supposed to start up until 4PM, the wedding was at 6PM.
I get to my hotel around midnight Friday night. They have about 7 or 8 buckets out catching water coming from the ceiling, but there appears no major damage.
The next day I spent running a few errands and watching the weather coverage. It still sounded like late afternoon all hell would break loose.
I went to the wedding venue around 2, to help set things up and just do whatever needs to be done. I played with Charlie some, hung out with my step dad and did anything that needed doing.
I took some time to take a photo of my family. My sister, husband, kids and step-father.
The weather was holding off. There were dark clouds passing overhead, but so far no storm. I was keeping myself occupied and keeping it together until it was almost wedding time. My ex-wife came out of the dressing room and said to me, “Do you have anything old?” I said, I don’t know, I guess I could look in my car”. I go to my car and all I could think of was the paper heart I have in my car that my daughter drew when she was little. I’ve kept it in every car I’ve ever had, since she drew it for me. I took it to her and she wrapped it around her bouquet and that’s when the tears came. I tried to stay strong because I didn’t want my daughter to cry and mess up her make up.
We then notice that she cannot get to the place where we start down the isle without everyone seeing her. We decide that I’ll back my car up to her door and have her get in and we’ll drive up to a place where we can get there without being seen.
While in my car, her dress is in my lap and I have to push it aside to get to the stick shift. We have a nice conversation and drive up the drive way.
We had a another nice moment while waiting and watching everyone else march down the isle. I started getting a little nervous, but it was a really nice moment. I was strong while walking down the isle.
The weather was dark and breezy, but it didn’t rain and there were no tornadoes.
Matt the Electrician was playing in Dallas the night of the wedding and sending us good vibes. One of his fans at the show sent me this picture of Matt rockin’ a Huffy Pro Thunder shirt.
The wedding was fast and it was on to celebrating. My daughter and I had a first dance to Paul Simon’s, “Daughter”. We both cried and talked as much as possible to keep from crying more. It was a beautiful night. I’m so proud of my daughter. She is a wonderful person and easily the best thing that has come into my life.
My daughter and husband made their own cake toppers. The cake did not really hold up, oh well!
The husband and wife.
The wedding party.
Little Charlie all cleaned up.