Some of the stories on our local news about the storms are so heartbreaking. Many of us have lived through hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and worse, I suppose. But, when it happens so close to home, I realize that a tiny little turn and it could’ve been my town wiped off the map. Every story is sad but here are some I can’t stop thinking about and if you believe in prayer, could you please say prayers for the storm victims.
A 21 year old firefighter died today from injuries he received in the storm. He was trying to warn others of the storm when he was injured. He leaves behind a 3 year old child.
There were seven people, five in one car and two in another, who were traveling down the road. The storms were approaching and both cars pulled over to wait for the weather to clear. I’m not sure if the people in the two cars knew each other or were total strangers. The storm picked up both cars, slammed them through buildings and all seven people died.
Picher, OK was once a good sized town, about 20,000 residents I hear. It was a mining town and at some point the mines moved out but later the town was determined to be contaminated with lots of lead. They were involved in a Super Fund buyout and all but about 800 residents had already left. Those 800 folks were just waiting to get everything finalized and they were leaving too. From what the news says, the entire town is just gone — nothing left there. Can you imagine the town where you grew up just being wiped off the map? Due to the pollution there, it will probably never be rebuilt. And, those people who still lived there! There had been problems with their buyout and I’m sure they were at their wit’s end dealing with the government and now everything they own is gone — pictures, personal papers, vehicles — everything.
A bridal shop was wiped out. Last I heard, the owner was desperately searching for her notebook that had all the information about wedding dresses on order, measurements, etc. Can you imagine being a bride with an upcoming wedding and all the info about your dress, your bridesmaid dresses? With all the death and destruction, this isn’t the worst of the stories but I’m sure if you’re the bride, it’s pretty darned bad.
One of the storm victims said tonight “Live every day like it’s your last” and as I’m reminded how quickly life can be turned upside down, I will look at life a bit differently . . til I forget and have to be reminded again.