Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Remember...

"I am thinking of the 168 that lost their lives, the survivors who lived through it, and the friends and family members who have been changed forever 16 years ago. I'm sending hugs your way and hope that we all remember and share the importance of being nice to one another."
"On April 19th, 1995, in an attempt to make a political statement through violence and destruction failed to take into account the resilience of the human spirit. The world watched, the world came. Since that day, we have never stood alone."
"I just want to say take time to let the people in your life know you love them. Ya never know when they will be gone. Even if someone close to you did you wrong, learn to let go and move on. In the end it's not worth it. Love each other and grow together before it's too late. Make today a great day."
"May you have peace today. My heart and prayers are dedicated to you and your family today. Your dad is watching from above at the beautiful family you are creating :)"
"You know you and your Mom always hold a special place in my heart :) I will never forget and always think of you both"
 "Just wanted to say I'm thinking of you today :)"
"My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today. God bless."
These are just some of the Facebook status updates and comments that my sweet friends left on my wall today. 
Today is the anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, the day my father was taken from me. The day a husband was taken from my mother and the day that left my daughters without a grandfather. But that is not what I choose to focus on today. Instead, I choose the remember the acts of kindness that were shown to me and my family over the last 16 years. 
I choose to remember the hundreds of cards that were sent to us from family, friends, and strangers from around the world; the stories and sweet memories that were shared by co-workers of my father; the flowers that my dear friend lays on my dad's chair at the memorial year after year. 
I remember the meals that were brought to our home during those first few days, and then weeks and months after the tragedy; the pictures that a class of fifth graders at St. Mary's drew for us, the quilt that was made for me 16 years ago by 23 eighth grade girlfriends, the weeks my aunt spent at my house away from her own family to make things easier for my mom and I. 
I hold close the Red Cross family who just understood, the considerate friends who have called/text/emailed consistently for the last 16 years, the Native American tribes that named buildings and roads in memory of my father, the Rotary club and friends of my dad that continue to check up on me years into adulthood, and my church back in Oklahoma that was always a sanctuary for my mother and I. 
I focus on the good that was shown by the people in our community, the overwhelming compassion that was shown to us that I can never repay and the crazy amount of love that came out such a terrible act of violence. This is what this day has become for me--not just a day to remember the 168 lives that were lost, but a day remember the kindness that we were bestowed and to pass it on.  
"If anybody thinks that Americans are mostly mean and selfish, they ought to come to Oklahoma. If anybody thinks Americans have lost the capacity for love and caring and courage, they ought to come to Oklahoma." - Bill Clinton, April 23, 1995.

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