Photo: Stephanie Decker (from MSNBC)

Anyone living in an area where tornadoes frequent knows the horror of them. The moment those sirens go off something inside of you begins to panic, especially if you have children. 36 year old Stephanie Decker experienced such panic last week when deadly tornadoes ripped through parts of Indiana and Kentucky destroying nearly everything in their path. Decker was home with her two children, 8 year old son Dominic and 5 year old daughter Reese, when the sirens went off . After taking cover in the basement, Decker could see the tornado rapidly coming toward her house and knew she had to protect her children. In an effort to keep them safe from debris, she tied a blanket around both children and shielded them with her own body. “Beams, pillars, furniture – everything was just slamming into my back,” she says. “But I had my children in the blanket and I was on top of them.”

After the storm passed, leaving barely a trace of her home behind, Decker realized that something was wrong. Her legs were pinned and she could not move. She looked down to see her injuries and knew that her legs were either severed completely or barely still attached. Her children screamed in terror begging her not to die and declaring that they could not live without her. After calming the children, she sent them to the neighbor for help.

Stephanie Decker lost one of her legs just above the knee and the other leg just above the ankle; injuries that would leave so many of us angry and depressed. However, in all of her interviews, Stephanie Decker expressed little sadness for herself, only complete joy and relief that in a tornado that completely destroyed her home, her children not only survived but managed to walk away without a single injury.

Many prayers to the Decker family, and many thanks as well for reminding us all what motherhood is really all about!