|A Silver lining in a Rainbow just north of Edmond.|
We were lucky, but those in Edmond, and other parts of Oklahoma were not, homes and lives were lost that day. We waited out the storm before driving back to Kansas, and then watched as the sky erupted into a deep rolling black and blue bruised cloud building over our friends and families in Norman. There was nothing we could do but drive north and pray. Sometimes the helplessness adds to the fear and hurt. Norman was spared but Shawnee took a hit. The voice of Gary England on the radio kept Jack and me informed of the tornado's path; my mind wondered through a lifetime of stormy memories. Mother's words floated back to me, as they do most often when my heart is heavy, "Look for the silver lining in everything, Letty." Then this rainbow appeared on the back side of the Edmond storm; I thought the worst was over and felt relief.
My mind or perhaps my heart, drifted back to people and places that once made a difference in my life before they died a tragic death. One special person was Dr. Sarah Reed. She was the Director of the Emporia State University Library School from 1975-78; the same years I lived in Greensburg and worked on my Master's degree. She was a gracious gentle woman who allowed me to bring my little daughter, Katy, to weekend workshops. Sometimes Katy played dolls and colored in her office while Sarah worked at her desk, and I sat in class. My favorite memory was when she invited us over for tea. Her antique furniture matched her charm and grace. We sat in her living room and drank hot tea from china cups, discussing books and how computers might someday change our world, while Katy frolicked on her red cushioned love seat, and Sarah smiled. The summer of 1978, Sarah died a violent death while on a dinner theater showboat on a lake near Pomona, Kansas when a freak tornado rolled the boat killing three friends from ESU, and leaving another hole in my heart. (for more on the Pomona tragedy read the article by Stu Beitler
Monday, May 20 a little after 3:00 my daughter, who lives in OKC, texted me, "I'm safe. Don't worry." My head screamed and I called her immediately. "Safe from what?" Her voice pounded with her heartbeat as she explained what was happening just south of her in Moore. Within minutes I turned on the TV and was faced with the horror of one More tornado.
For the loss of lives, especially our school children, my heart aches. The devastation, like Joplin, Greensburg, Udall, and so many more will take years of hard work to overcome, and for a few there will be some silver linings.
|May 19, setting sun after the storms had passed along I-35.|