Having grown up in Southeastern Oklahoma, I am no stranger to tornadoes.
My first memory of a tornado experience, I was maybe 5, was when a tornado cut across the pasture in front of my house. I remember my mom putting us in the hall closet before she went outside to watch.
I was never afraid of tornadoes, maybe because my mom thought they were so exciting. And then, when I was 9, an F5 tornado hit the Oklahoma City area. Oklahoma City is about two hours from where I grew up, so we were not affected by the storms at all.My dad, however, decided we needed to help.
So he loaded up our van with first aid kits, toilet paper and gallons of water and then hitched a trailer up to the car. Initially, this was an exciting adventure for me. But then we got further north, and I saw destruction as I had never seen it before and like I have not seen since. We donated our supplies and spent the rest of the day hauling debris into our trailer and then hauling it off to designated areas.
People were digging through all the rubble and finding little pieces of their lives - pictures, furniture, family mementos - others had lost friends and family to the destruction of the tornado.
I was not old enough to truly understand the loss of life and how hard it would be for those people to rebuild their lives, but it still affected me in a way I cannot truly explain.
When Moore was struck again just a couple weeks ago, and then Tulsa and Arkansas were hit yesterday, I was flooded with a 9-year-old's memories. I want to help, but I'm too far away to bring them water and help them dig through the rubble. So I helped in the only way I can from Victoria - prayers and a donation.
I pray the remainder of the tornado season will not see anymore devastation. I pray for peace for those who lost a loved one and the strength for all of these communities to carry on.
Thank you for your contribution.Flag this as inappropriate
- Follow catyhirst