April 19,1995 – We will never forget.
Less than a thousand words
It was an ordinary morning for me.
I was working at an arts and crafts chain store busily setting up registers and then unlocking the doors.
A few people were waiting for the store to open. I greeted the customers as they came in and there was a lot of cheery chattering among them. It was 9 am.
About 15 minutes later, I was checking some customers out at the register when a woman and a man came in looking for ribbon. I directed them over to our fabric area and then a group started gathering up, talking solemnly in hushed tones, and they looked worried.
That’s when I heard the talk about a fire at a federal building in Oklahoma City, our state capital.
I went about my day, not knowing really anything about what had happened. This was well before social media and multi-media cell phones which I could not afford at that time.
I finished work, picked up my son from daycare, and we headed home. He was not quite 2 years old then and I was a single mom just trying to support him and me.
I got home, fed, and bathed my son, then was about to sit down to eat my dinner and turn on the television when my parents got home. They both smelled of beer and seemed so upset. I asked them what was going on. My mother did not say anything and immediately went and turned on the TV.
The images that flashed across the screen are forever in my thoughts.
The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City had been bombed.
The image of a fire fighter carrying a toddler from the building was the first thing that I saw. That is when I learned that a daycare center was on one of the floors and that children had been killed. An image of a box of baby wipes with the name Zackary was lying on the ground among the debris as the cameras panned the scene of the destruction and is what stuck out most to me. It is seared into my mind.
I looked over at my son, busy playing on the floor, and I started crying. I picked him up and just sat quietly in my room with him, just holding him, praying for the parents of the children and the families of the victims. Later, I went and took a long drive, just him and me.
Even now, as I write this, tears still well up and those feelings of loss, sadness, and anger are there after all this time.
Those moments after that tragic event changed how we as citizens of this state felt but we still moved forward. In those moments we were as one, banding together, and helping each other. The whole country sent their support, wishes, and prayers.
It is senseless and unnecessary, the loss of life, all for one person’s ideology. This goes the same for any tragedy or event that occurs where lives are the cost for the deeds of others.
Today, our state is at a crossroads with individuals’ ideology once again affecting the lives of others here. This time it is being played out in our state capital among elected officials and the legislation they are proposing. This is just one of the many reasons why I will be moving from here. I can no longer consider this my home, it is not the same anymore and my children are all grown, living elsewhere. It is time for a change.
As time moved forward and we lived through other tragic events, we continue to survive, thrive, and just stay alive through all of it. Continuing to pursue our hopes and dreams.
In the end, it will not matter how successful, famous, or wealthy you become. What matters most is the love you shared, the compassion you showed, the experiences you had, the changes made for the betterment of others, and the knowledge you leave behind.
Thank you so much for stopping by.
Have a wonderful week!
Stay positive, motivated, and keep moving forward.
Peace, love, happiness, and good vibes, always!