May 27, 1997

I’ll never forget this day. I was walking out to my car that was conveniently parked in the first parking space of the elementary school where I taught in New Braunfels, Texas. Because I was almost always the first one there. Thank you. It was about 3:30 in the afternoon when I left my classroom that day. Once outside, I looked up and was amazed at how dark and mysterious the northern sky was. Little did I know that an F-5 tornado had just redesigned the landscape in north, central Texas. I made my way south on I-35 to our San Antonio home. Upon reaching our driveway, I got a phone call from my mother. Her voice was frantic but she was not crying. She was concerned but not a basket case. She said, “An F-5 tornado just ripped through Jarrell and we can’t get in touch with Keith and Cindy.” My heart sank. But I also realized that just because they hadn’t made contact with us didn’t mean they weren’t okay. Power lines were obviously down and it was probably mayhem. I went about my evening with this information in the forefront of my mind and eventually fell asleep expecting to hear good news from my mother in the morning. During the night, many of the 1,300 residents made there way out. But there were still 27 unaccounted for. And four of them had my last name. My cousin, Keith Moehring, his wife, Cindy, and their two sons, Erik and Ryan, had not contacted us. And we could not contact them. After waiting for eight hours, on May 29, 1997, shortly after midnight our family was brought in to be told that my cousin, his wife and their two teenage sons did not survive. A town devastated. Two entire families wiped out. Men became widowers. Children lost parents. Lives were forever changed. In a matter of minutes. Life is short, my friends. We do not know what the hours in our day hold. So, hug those you adore and tell them you love them. And give your heart to Jesus. He will take good care of it.

24 thoughts on “May 27, 1997”

  1. Oh Cindy how gut-wrenching for your family. The Jarrell tornado is what made me so fearful during the May 3rd ’99 tornado. In my life I had never heard nor read of such power from one storm.

    Your post reminds us all that we need have our lives in order, forgiveness freely given, and our hearts given over to Christ. Thanks for being so transparent and sharing the heartaches of your life with us on your blog. May God use this for His glory.

  2. I cant believe I hadnt heard this story before. Oh…my sweet friend, how painful and life changing that must have been. You are so right that we need to keep our lives and hearts in order. Thanks for reminding me this morning. 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing- I know that had to be hard on you and your family- your heart for being real is so beautiful. Coming up on 9/11 it is good to be reminded about how short and percious and fragile we are!!
    But Jesus makes it so worth it both here and in heaven !! Thank you Cindy for the reminder!!

  4. Oh wow. I’m sorry you experienced that. You are so right. I have a post coming up about that very thing on the anniversary of Garrett’s accident. His turned out fine, but I learned that you never know, that’s for sure.

  5. Many of us here in tornado alley treat them like a joke but they are killers. It is hard to wrap your head around it unless you have lived it.

  6. girl, i had no idea! you are a testimony to the power of God’s healing grace and His love. i am trying my best to cherish every moment. thanks for the reminder today!

  7. I read the article in the link you posted. Very poignant. With all the news happening in the world it’s easy to just listen and let it go. Your loss and the article about your family and others lost really put a face on the tragedy… I was especially touched when they mentioned particular things, services, etc… that were missing now that those folks were gone…just that they really mattered. Very sad. Thanks for the encouragement to love NOW…

  8. I’m so sorry for your loss and the heartbreak that your family went through. I just love the last line of your post…”And give your heart to Jesus. He will take good care of it.”

  9. wow… I too know this first hand. My mom was killed 8years ago this month coming to my house… on the highway turning onto my road.
    Hugs to you Cindy…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.