Every spring, the nightmares return. Always, they're a demented version of the moments just after 7:30 p.m. 10 years ago. That's when “the worst tornado ever recorded” — as I call it — ripped apart my neighborhood in Moore.
My memory is this: I drive from work in time to see the spinning monster moving away. I walk over downed, sparking power lines and through mud. I climb into the ruins of my home. I realize, as if in slow motion, that the garage, the roof and most of the outside walls are gone. My neighbors' homes look as bad. I stand in my living room, trying to see what belongings were spared. I hear eerie sounds and look up to see ripped sheets and torn plastic flapping in the wind from what is left of trees. In my dreams, I'm standing there again. I'm desperately looking for something under the broken bricks at my feet as the constant flapping noise gets louder and louder. Those nightmares show up especially at nights after tornado sirens have sounded. At least I don't wake up cursing as much. I loved that home. I lived there 15 years. It had been my grandma's. Before she died, she said it was mine now and to take care of it.