Families logo

Mom, You Couldn't Quiet the Storm

But you made me a sandwich that saved me

By Catherine KenwellPublished about a year ago 3 min read
Mom, You Couldn't Quiet the Storm
Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash

Well, Mom, it’s 37 years ago this week since that freak-of-Mother-Nature tornado almost killed me. Can you believe it? And I don’t think I ever thanked you enough for the sandwich you made me when I got home.

I got stuck in traffic on the way home from work that afternoon; we’d shut everything down when the electricity went out, so I’d left early. We didn’t realize the entire city had gone dark—but traffic lights, elevators, anything electric—had gone dead.

When the storm hit, I was trapped in Dad’s station wagon. It was incredibly fortuitous that I’d borrowed his car that morning; my little car would have been tossed into oblivion. But Dad’s wagon—well, it bounced around one heckuva lot, and was completely decimated in the less-than-a-minute raging tempest. All the windows and windshields had imploded, and I was buried in glass; a plumbing pipe had been propelled through the car’s front grill and missed impaling me by less than four inches. I lay across the front seat, thinking I was dead.

I was able to crawl out the back window, but not before grinding glass pellets into my back with every shift of my torso. I’m really glad you weren’t there; I recall how I’d dropped you off at the hospital for a shift, and I would have picked you up, too, if I hadn’t left work early. You would have been in the passenger seat. You could have been killed. Thankfully, you were safe at the hospital, but it must have been scary when you learned where the worst damage had taken place. You must have known that I was caught in the middle of it. Not being able to find me or hear from me for hours must have been grueling.

This was decades before cellphones, and the telephone land lines were sketchy at best. So many hydro and telephone poles had been ripped from their moorings, and the remaining lines were overwhelmed with people trying to get through to loved ones. When I finally got through to you and Dad, hours later, Dad had to convince the cops to let him through the roadblocks so that he could pick me up and bring me home. Thank goodness Dad knew most of the cops in town back then.

I was in shock when Dad brought me home. I recall standing out on the front lawn with you; we had no electricity, so it was darker inside the house. Maybe we were all a little traumatized. You and Dad kept asking me about the storm, and what happened to me, but I was silent. Speechless. Shock and trauma will do that, apparently.

Eventually, I retreated to the basement. Funny, at that point I had no idea that’s the only place I would be able to fall asleep for the next several weeks. But that night, I was exhausted, and I fell into a fitful quasi-sleep.

The next day, when Dad drove into town to help with rescue efforts, you stoked up the basement wood stove. We still had no electricity, but you knew I hadn’t eaten in close to 30 hours. You brought down two pieces of bread and two eggs and proceeded to make me a toasted fried egg sandwich.

By Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Whether it was because I was famished or in shock or simply because I was glad to be alive, it was the best sandwich I’d ever tasted. To this day, no meal rivals it. Every single taste bud danced on my tongue in response to the creamy egg yolks and crunchy toast. I was alive. My family was safe. And your incredibly kind, nurturing act has stayed with me as one of the most tender moments of my life.

Mom, you weren’t by nature a nurturing parent; you were devoid of maternal instinct, or so I thought. Years later, I realize that instinct had been crushed by your inner demons. I don’t fault or blame you; I forgave you years ago.

But that fried egg sandwich? Your simple and innovative effort meant the world to me, and it continues to nourish my soul, 37 years later. Thanks, Mom.


About the Creator

Catherine Kenwell

I live with a broken brain and PTSD--but that doesn't stop me! I'm an author, artist, and qualified mediator who loves life's detours.

I co-authored NOT CANCELLED: Canadian Kindness in the Face of COVID-19. I also publish horror stories.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.