As many of you know on March 3, 2020, in the earliest hours of the morning, a devastating string of tornadoes ripped through Middle Tennessee. It leveled family homes into piles of rubble, left many (33,000 Nashvillians alone) without power, and took with it more than two dozen lives. Figuring out what to say and how to feel during this experience has been impossible. Our house was untouched, but our home, the streets we walk every day, our favorite burger joint, the big beautiful trees that have shaded my babies since I brought them home, have been destroyed.
The EF3 storm missed us by about three blocks. We felt it barrel through, watched the sky turn green, and held each other when the eerie silence that had fallen over us became a screaming wind. Buckling bicycle helmets onto sleepy little heads, we grabbed the kids from their beds and hid in the closet. Mike turned the “The Farmer in the Dell” up as loud as he could and I tried not to shake too hard. We sheltered our children the best way we knew how. The tornado came and left in an instant but in that instant, I knew that life in our sweet, sacred corner of the city would never be the same. What I didn’t know was that when I woke up, right next to the most profound damage I’ve ever seen, would be the most profound beauty.
The sound of generators and chainsaws growling began before the sun was up. Neighbors dropped everything to offer comfort, shelter, clothing, and food to the people they’d lived next to for years but never met. Armies of volunteers from all over the state braved the broken landscape to literally help my community pick up the pieces. The local moms group even set up free childcare for anyone who needed a moment to breathe, process, or grieve. My own little boy, who has always worried about natural disasters, put on his work gloves without hesitation and began cleaning up debris from the golf course next to our house. We came together. East Nashville might not look the same, but in many ways, it’s more itself than it’s ever been– strong, loving, gracious, and so kind. The people are so good here, knowing that has been my anchor.
January Moon has ground to a bit of a halt. The local post office and UPS Center have been demolished. The deadlines are real, the orders real, but as the rest of the country moves along like it normally does, life here is just beginning to take its first tender steps forward again. I am thankful to all of you for your grace, your prayers, and your continued support.
Recovery for the affected areas will be a slow and painstaking journey. A road that my community continues to show me, quite simply, is not meant to be walked alone. If you would like to contribute to the relief effort, the following organizations are accepting donations:
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
I am shaken but I am so, so grateful.
Founder | Designer | Wine Expert | Problem Solver at January Moon | Wife to Mike | Mom to Shep and Delaney at Home