Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oklahoma Strong

I had another post planned for today, but after the events of the past 2 days, I think I'll save it for another time.

I've lived in Oklahoma all my life and I am no stranger to severe, extreme weather. I remember spending many stormy nights and afternoons in my parent's basement or grandmother's cellar. My grandmother was terrified of storms and tornadoes. We had tornado drills in school when I was a child. I remember going into the hall and kneeling, facing the wall with a text book over my head and neck, or taking shelter under a desk. I've been inconvenienced by a storm before but never really adversely affected.

Yesterday, at approximately 2pm, storms spun up south and west of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I pulled up the radar on my phone app and the live news feed from KFOR in Oklahoma City. I watched in horror as the storm grew. I watched the mile wide tornado as it plowed through Newcastle and bore down on Moore, Oklahoma, taking almost the same track as the F5 tornado of May 3, 1999.  They were warning people to take shelter, to get underground. They kept saying it was horrible. My work computer kept buffering, so it was difficult for me to really take it all in. I knew it was bad, just didn't know how bad.

At 4 pm, all non-essential personnel was sent home from work. I checked the radar to see that it was all clear in my immediate area, so I jumped in the car and raced home. When I arrived and turned on the television, that is when I really grasped the magnitude of what had happened. Homes, businesses, schools, entire neighborhoods where completely gone. At that time, there were no reported fatalities, but that would quickly change.

2 elementary schools were destroyed. There were no fatalities reported from the Briarwood Elementary School but it was a different story at the Plaza Towers Elementary School. I'm not sure if there are exact numbers of how many were in the school at the time the storm hit, but it's believed that there were about 24 children in the school at that time. At least 7 bodies of children have been recoverd so far. The reporters were doing the best they could to report the news and remain objective when bodies were pulled from the rubble right before their eyes. I finally had to turn it off.

This morning, the news is grim, 91 fatalities confirmed thus far. 20 of those are children. My heart is very heavy and I'm feeling the pain of the parents who were not able to hug and kiss their babies and say goodbye.

Thank you to those who have texted or emailed me to check on my well-being, I appreciate it.

Oklahomans are traditionally resilient people. We've recovered from tragedies before and we will recover from this one. We'll come back, stronger and better than we were before.

Please keep those affected in your thoughts and prayers. If you wish to help, a donation to the American Red Cross is the best way to do so at this time.

Please remember that life is short and uncertain. This could have been any of us. Be kind and gracious to one another. Be attentive to the needs of others and take time to make someone feel loved everday.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, Proverbs 3:5

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted, Matthew 5:4


  1. Glad you are safe and sending prayers to OK from NH xo

  2. Sometimes I am amazed how we carry on with our lives and other people elsewhere are suffering so much. This is horrible. I know though through tragedy comes great things and Gods love shines through to those in times like this.

  3. Glad to hear you are safe. My heart is breaking for those families that lost loved ones in such a tragic way. Sending prayers to all