Last night I went to dinner with my sweet mum-in-law (who is visiting from The Motherland), my mom, and my oldest daughter. As we were nibbling our decadent desserts, Jonathan called.
"I don't want you to panic," he says. Which, of course, makes me panic.
"What is it?"
"Well, to start, just know that everyone is OK."
"Okay..." My mind starts to race, my heart to thrum, though I try to act calm and casual so as not to alarm everyone with me.
"A tornado went through Oklahoma City. Moore took a direct hit." Moore is where my sister-in-law is a teacher and my nephews go to school. My stomach knots. He continues to tell me that my sister-in-law and 13-year-old nephew were huddled in a bathroom of the elementary school where she teaches as the building collapsed around them. I try to control my breathing, and my expression. Again, I don't want to alarm anyone yet. Jonathan again assures me that, apart from my sister-in-law's broken foot, they are fine and, after they helped to pull other children and teachers out of the rubble (yes, broken foot and all) they were finally reunited with my brother-in-law (Jonathan's brother) and their other son.
Once I hang up, I convey the news as calmly as I can. And, unable to enjoy the last, bittersweet bites of dessert, we rush home to make phone calls to our loved ones and watch with horror the devastation on the 10 o'clock news.
I know that there are many of you out there affected by this horrific event--some of you that are even now bracing for more possible tornadoes to come today. (Danni, who blogs From the Ranch Pen, is one of many I know enduring these terrifying weather systems.)
And I wish, right now, that I had something useful to say. Something uplifting and insightful. But, wracking my brain, I can think of nothing except to pray. And, while it certainly doesn't seem enough, it's all I can offer right now. My prayers are with you all amidst this tragedy and for protection from whatever is to come. Be safe, dear friends.
|A picture my sister-in-law took of her school, her classroom was just to the right of that wall.
We are so thankful they are safe!