Sunday, April 18, 2010
April 19th, 1995
This week's question, "April 19, 1995 - Where were you?"
I had taken the kids to the small, rural school they attended and after letting them out, parked the car to run inside to visit with one of the teachers I had previously worked with. She had called and asked if I would be free to sub later in the week. After checking with her, I decided to go back by the office before returning home.
At the time, the office was small. It was actually two adjoining offices, but neither one was much larger than a walk-in closet. In that rather cramped area, six or seven teachers had gathered, along with the principal and the superintendant. It was disturbingly quiet. There was no typical early morning chit-chat, only worried faces and the faint sound coming from a portable television someone had turned on.
I asked, what was going on and was told by the secretary there had been a bombing in Oklahoma City. Not comprehending the seriousness of the situation or how devastating the action actually was, I made one of my flippant (stupid) comments, something to the effect ~ “how bad can a pipe bomb in OKC be?”
The superintendant looked at me like I had three heads (all screwed on backwards). He politely and simply said, “It’s serious, Cheryl. It wasn’t a pipe bomb.”
The office was crowded and clearly everyone looked distressed, so I returned to my car and turned on the radio. Once home, seeing the destruction and loss of life on television, the enormity of the situation settled in.
Like everyone else, I will never forget the scenes that played out over the next few days. Similar to when the Challenger exploded after lift-off, we kept watching the scenes repeat, hoping that the next time they ran the ending would be different. But the graphic scenes ended the same each time, one hundred sixty eight lives lost ~ thousands of lives affected.
I still regret the off-handed comment I made upon first learning of the bombing, but I realize now, I am probably the only one who remembers the words I said. Everyone else there had already been absorbed into the tragedy and their minds were busy trying to sort through the details of what had happened.
Before I close, I want to say I learned a valuable lesson during this time. Our oldest daughter was getting ready to go on a short term mission trip six weeks later. Her uncles, my brother-in-laws, were upset we were allowing (encouraging) Jenny to go. When praying about her upcoming trip, doubts would creep in and I would wonder if we were doing the right thing. Then it occurred to me, prior to April 19, not one of her five uncles would have batted an eye had she decided to stay in Oklahoma and accept a summer job there at the Murrah Building.
We are called to be wise, but we can’t allow fear to rule our lives. If we do, the enemy has already won.
Be sure and go by Real Housewives of Oklahoma and checkout the other posts linked to this question.