Their house was destroyed.
Tuesday morning, I finally got in contact with one of my aunts in the Oklahoma City area to learn of the family. My aunt and uncle lost their home. My cousin and his family rode out the twister in their cellar. Their house sustained damage to the windows and such. It was so good to hear they were alive!
As I watched reports later that day, officials said please make contact with your families to let them know you are safe, so we aren’t looking for you. We need to concentrate our efforts on those who really are still missing. How important it is to let someone know you are safe!
I took this information to heart and added a tornado app to my smart phone as I also live in a Texas section of Tornado Alley. Last night it was our turn to listen to incredible storms and sit under a tornado watch, waiting to see if one would touch down. It is important to be prepared. It is important to stay connected.
Maybe you haven’t been through a tornado. Maybe you haven’t even seen so much as a bolt of lightning lately, but is there anyone you need to connect with? How long has it been since you took the time to tell some distant relatives, hey, I’m okay. How are you?
I started off this morning googling today’s date in history and then calling my mom. April 19th has a lot of meaning for us.
I was a radio station news director in college when the Branch Davidian Siege is Waco turned deadly. It was on April 19th. My parents came to visit Karl and I a few years later in Illinois to celebrate our big announcement of a coming baby. They decided to stay longer by a day and rearranged some of their doctor appointments they had for April 19th in Oklahoma City. Instead of being in the middle of it, they heard about it on their drive home from our house. Sources linked some of the motive to retaliation for the Waco incident by the bombing of the Federal Building in OKC, which reportedly held some of the ATF records.
April 19th became a day that for a few years after that 1995 explosion, people took extra precautions.
Nothing could prepare us for April 19th, 2003. Dad was far too young to die of brain cancer, but he had put himself through radiation and other treatments to try to stay alive until I could have my third and final child and come to visit. He got to hold baby Greta in his hospice bed. She never got to know him and what an incredible person he was.
So I called my mom today. Told her I was thinking of her and both of us looking forward to seeing Dad again someday. I don’t think we’ll worry about April 19th anymore.