Tuesday, May 21, 2013

*life changing moments.

Last night while lying in bed, it occurred to me that I did not do a makeup post yesterday. I apologize, but like most Okies, I was glued to the news for the better part of the day. Watching the events of the deadly tornado unfold in Moore, Okla., was absolutely heartbreaking. Even though I spent 12 years of my life in Alaska, I've always referred to Oklahoma as "home." This is probably because all of my family lives in the Sooner State and it is where I spent the first 7 years of my life. Now that I'm marrying a guy from Oklahoma, this is probably where I will spend the rest of my life.

Moore has always had a special place in my heart. My dad was stationed at Tinker AFB while in the Air Force and some of my earliest memories are of living in the first home my parents built on Teresa Drive in Moore. I attended preschool and kindergarten there and still feel a twinge of nostalgia whenever I drive by the city. When my family left Alaska in 2006, we lived in Moore for a year, not too far from that first home. Side note: During our first month or so after we moved back to Oklahoma, my mom flew to Alaska for my dad's retirement ceremony. I was attending the University of Oklahoma and had class the day she left, so my mom asked a lady to watch my brother and sister until I could pick them up. Surprisingly, the lady lived in the home my parents built. I'll never forget the feeling of picking my brother and sister up. I saw the window of the room that had contained my pink and white canopy bed that was across from my Little Mermaid bathroom. I saw the fireplace where I used to dress up and regale my parents and relatives with all sorts of shenanigans.

But yes, Moore holds a special place in my heart. Last night, I thought about the little lives that had been taken too early by the tornado. I thought about the parents who didn't know where their children were and the people who had lost everything. While watching the news yesterday, my eyes teared up every time they interviewed a survivor. One lady's eyes were misty and, obviously in shock, she kept saying how she and her children had been in the bathtub and now her house was gone. Another guy had also survived by getting in his bathtub with his two dogs. He was pushing them around the tornado stricken city looking for his wife and kids.

I am still in disbelief when I see the neighborhoods that were completely obliterated by the tornado. It has been said that Moore looks like a war zone and I agree. I'm not going to post any images of the destruction on here. I can't wait to hear more stories of the heroism and selflessness of Oklahoma residents in the aftermath of the tornado. Moore has been stricken by three major tornadoes in the last 14 years and if the people of Moore have displayed anything, it is amazing resiliency. Even though tornadoes keep descending upon their beloved city, they continue to rebuild.

It has warmed my heart to see an outpour of love, encouragement and support from across the nation. But, what I love most is how the state has bonded together and everyone has rushed to the aid of those affected by the terrible tragedy. Oklahoma has had its share of horrific events, but each time, the people of this great state have come together in support of each other and the love and sense of togetherness is something truly special and can only be experienced by those that live in this state.

I'm proud to be an Okie.

Please pray for the people of not only Moore, but for the state as a whole, as many places have been devastated by tornadic activity the past couple of days.

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