Just reaching out, on this very rainy night in Oklahoma City, to say that all is well. That I’m glad it’s June. That I hope the end of May will mean that the worst of storms are behind us. And most of all, that my mental flipping of the calendar page has me thinking, seriously for the first time, of adding a safe room to our home.
On storm infested nights like this, it helps to acknowledge that my family and I have weathered another wave of May storms. No small feat, this year, since it seems everyone here knows someone that knows someone that lost something big on May 20th. Homes. Businesses. Peace of mind… whether watching on the sidelines or suffering a direct hit.
I don’t yet know what additional damage has come from tonight’s storms. Instead, I know there were too many too close for comfort calls in May. My family alone knows three family members of students pulled alive from the rubble of Plaza Towers and Briarwood Elementary Schools. And while I don’t know anyone from the families suffering the loss of loved ones, I feel connected to them nevertheless. It’s been that way since May 20th, since I first watched the “Moore” tornado form on live t.v, as I listened to familiar street names, rattled off by excited weathermen, become coordinates of the twister’s vectored path… to realize.. that these intersections were home to large residential areas, that schools and churches were located there… that one coordinate was the location of my youngest daughter’s first home… another just blocks from my youngest child’s home till a month ago. it was beyond surreal.
I didn’t know, until the twister had almost run its course, that my eldest daughter and her family were lying in wait for the EF-5 to hit, either in borrowed storm shelters or in buildings lying in the twister’s direct path. In my mind, I had them all safely tucked out of harm’s way. I don’t know why. But perhaps I was playing some sort of Proustian mind-game… to believe what I needed to believe was true.
Yes, no doubt about it… on nights like this, full of tornado warnings and hail and torrential rainfall and flash floods, full of stress and fear and uncertainty of whether to flee or face incoming storms at home… it helps to remember how lucky my family and I have been … this time around the calendar. But I never knew till now, how long thirty-one days could feel.