A prayer for Oklahoma.

Dear friends,

OK

By now, you probably know the horrible news about my beloved home state. I had a business dinner last night that kept me away from the television until after 8:00 pm and, by that time, the news was hard to absorb.

Mercifully, all of my friends and family are safe. Most of my friends and all of my family are in the northeastern part of the state and, though a couple of tornadoes passed over my hometown, none of them touched down. And none of my Oklahoma City-area friends were caught in the Moore devastation. I spent the evening checking Facebook and other social media to confirm their safety.

As nerve-wracking as it would have been to be there, it was also difficult to watch from afar. When I heard a tornado warning had been announced for my hometown, I reminded my friends via Facebook that our home, which is still for sale and is occupied by a friend/caretaker, has a basement for anyone needing shelter. Later I learned many of my friends had indeed taken shelter at a variety of locations — an act that many native Okies only do when it’s “really bad.”

Like every native Okie I know, I have my share of weather stories, including once being in an untethered mobile home that was momentarily lifted in the air by a small twister. I know well the feeling of being separated from loved ones as tornadoes passed through the area and being frightened for their safety — in the days before cell phones and social media — until they arrived home. I clearly remember the May 3, 1999 EF5 tornado that hit OKC because that storm system made its way to the small town where Mr. Mom and I were huddled with our kids in a first-floor bathroom. I remember so many “bad ones”  that I and my loved ones always managed to sidestep, including a 1974 Tulsa tornado that caused minor injuries to my brother and lifelong anxiety for my mother.

What I’ve been blessed never to know is the heartache that accompanies a tragedy like yesterday’s. And it seems all I can do is count my blessings and offer prayers for those in need — of shelter, of recovery, of healing, of the hearts of all of us who have comfort and assistance to offer in the face of so much loss.

With gratitude {for the safety of so many of my Oklahoma family and friends},

Joan, whose second expression of gratitude will be a contribution to the Oklahoma Red Cross and who will be anxious to hear about other opportunities to provide aid

In the eloquent words of my friend Don: “Today we are neither Cowboy or Sooner, Democrat or Republican, Red, Yellow, Black or White, Christian, Muslim or Jew, Conservative or Liberal, we are through the grace of God, those sons and daughters of these wind blown plains, that are called Okies. We will fuss and fight later, but for now we’ll roll up our sleeves and all pull together and rebuild this Great State.  So help us God and hold us steadfast.”

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Comments

  1. Life is so fragile. I am relieved for you and your family and friends – thought of you immediately when I heard the news last night. We seem to be just at the south end of the alley, have family who used to live (in a trailer no less) in recently devastated Granbury. I never take for granted how wind and water can undo what we puny humans think we have done. Okies or Texans, we sons and daughters of the wind blown plains will indeed need to roll up sleeves and pull together.

  2. In all my years in Oklahoma, I only experienced really bad storms via the media. Thank you for the Oklahoma Red Cross link.

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