so did i ever tell you that we used to live in oklahoma city? well, we did. we moved there when kelsey was just a just a baby…four months old or so. and about six months or so after we moved there, i went back to work for an oil & gas service company. i worked as a technical assistant to one of the engineers and my desk was in one of the shared office spaces. i remember sitting at my desk eighteen years ago today. i remember feeling the earth shake and hearing what i thought was an exceptional rumble of thunder. but yet it was too loud and lasted too long to be thunder. and besides it was a sunny day. or maybe it was a sonic boom from a jet doing practice drills – tinker air force base wasn’t all that far away.
and then my office radio broke away from it’s regular programming and i learned, along with the rest of country, that a bomb had gone off in downtown okc.
now my office building was about ten miles away from downtown so i was safe and kelsey’s daycare was even further away so i wasn’t worried about her imminent safety. but tripp’s office…it was only a couple of miles from downtown. so my thoughts immediately were to get in touch with him. which i was able to do before the phone lines jammed.
so all morning i listened to my little radio…horrified. like everyone else. to be honest i don’t really remember the rest of my day at work because ALL i could think about was getting to kelsey and getting home. i seem to recall being let off work early (probably because i was completely worthless and unproductive) and i made a beeline for the daycare a few miles away. as i walked in the main entrance, i saw the other moms there. same red, puffy eyes as mine. same look of shock and horror at the days events. same desperate need to find their babies and get home to the relative safety of their nests.
that night after tripp got home, neither of us said too much. after dinner, and bathtime, and storytime, after we got kelsey to bed, the two of us watched the news. the horrifying, gruesome news. then later, as i lay in bed weeping, praying, a heart full of sorrow and fear, i knew that things would never be the same. i would never be the same.
i’ve been thinking about that day alot, because of course today is the anniversary of the oklahoma city bombing. and falling on the heals of the bombing in boston, and the tragic accident in west, texas…i don’t know. my momma heart is just kinda achy today. and i know alot of you are moms too, so i thought yours might be as well.
in thinking about what i wanted to say in this blog post today, i don’t really want this to be a rant or whatever on society. and as much as i am really relying on my faith and turning to scripture, well there are a lot of people much more eloquent than i am and much better equipped to shed theological light on the matter.
no, i guess what i am feeling is purely maternal. you know, because from the moment our babies are born, that maternal instinct…it’s in us right? we are biologically hardwired with it. it’s in our DNA. it is literally coursing through our veins. that FIERCE desire to protect our children. i mean we put plastic thingies in plugs. test the water with our elbow. put the medicine basket in the top shelf of the linen closet. turn the handles on the pots and pans to the back of the stove. buckle them in carseats. put helmets on them. everything. ev.er.y.thing we can to protect them. keep them safe.
it was kinda funny a couple of days ago – the day all the big storms rolled through – kelsey called me and said, ‘hey, i’m just calling to tell you that i love you in case i don’t make it.’ i kind of half-way knew she was joking, but i went into ‘mom-mode’ anyway and asked if she was in a safe place. was her classroom in a safe building, was there a basement/shelter in that building. all that stuff. and because we’re all completely obsessed with the weather in my family, i had already been checking the radar on my phone and knew that it was a typical, garden-variety, severe thunderstorm coming her way.
as i sit here typing this…it surprises me sometimes…that overwhelming urge…that need…to know my child is safe. to see her safe. to be her safety. and then i wonder if that keen awareness or jeez…i don’t even know what to call it…does it ever subside? and no sooner have i typed that than i remember the panic in my own mother’s voice who was finally able to reach me that day of the okc bombing. not knowing how far away we were. were we all safe. was her child safe.
and truth be told…i’m ok with that.
i don’t really have anything profound to say or some neat, tidy bow to wrap this blog post up with. i’m just ordinary mom. a mom who loves her child and still worries about her safety even though she’s almost twenty years old. a mom who wishes that the world wasn’t such a scary, evil place sometimes. wishing i had a plastic thingy or drawer lock to prevent bad things from happening.
so i guess i’ll just end here and do the only thing i know to do…give thanks for all that i have and pray for those who suffer.