One of the first questions I was asked this morning, when I confessed I had yet again been oblivious to severe weather being in the area was, "How could you miss it? Didn't you notice the dark swirling clouds, the wind, any of that stuff?" No I didn't. My mind was on other things.

I didn't leave work until 2:20, (a long time from when I awoke) so I was a bit tired. I arrived home to walk my pups and was then planning a late but leisurely lunch with my best friend Georgie at Jacky's on 8th Street. I arrived home at 2:30, went in the house, put the leashes on my dogs, heard my cell phone beep, looked at it and noticed I'd missed three calls, all from my younger sister.

So I grabbed the phone and headed out to the yard, let the puppies do their thing while I called Carolyn. She answered the phone sobbing. One of her dearest friends had passed away that morning, this was the first time she had lost someone this way and she was devastated. We spoke briefly and I told her I'd call her back after I took Bella and Zeus back inside. I rounded up the puppies on their leashes, walked them to the door and as we walked in the house, the tornado sirens went off.

I thought, "Hmm, tornado warning? Really?" Sure enough it was. I called Georgie and told her to stay wherever she was. Her enthusiastic response was, "I'm not dying in Hobby Lobby's bathroom, I'm coming to your house!" She arrived minutes later, the hail started, we huddled with two very frightened German Shepherds and two oblivious cats, expecting the worst and hoping for the best.

When things let up a bit I called my sister back and tried to comfort her. This is one situation which I can truly say I understand. I have lost four very dear friends long before they should have left this planet. Two had heart disease, two succumbed to cancer and I loved them all. My sisters and I lost our parents long ago and that was excruciating, but you realize at some point you will.

My older sister Carmela's best friend (since 4th grade), Debbie, died from brain cancer three years ago and I can't even fathom my life without Georgie! Your siblings, your spouse, your best friends--no! This shouldn't be happening- -yet- - should it? It's not right or fair or reasonable! It's incomprehensible and so painful! And yet, it is part of the agreement we have for existing, apparently. I personally don't remember signing anything but I must have!

So in the wider scope of what happened in the world yesterday, my hail-damaged nearly new vehicle barely registers a blip on the heartache screen.