Monday, April 19, 2010

We Remember ~ April 19th, 1995

We moved to Oklahoma August 15th, 1994. Being native Californians who had never pictured ourselves living more than five minutes from the beach, the move was quite a shock to everyone, including us. Regardless, we quickly settled into our hundred year old home in our new town of less than a thousand people. It was such a change but one we knew we could get use to. I was the first to actually make the move to Oklahoma with our children. I had gone ahead so the kids could start school. Bob had to stay behind for months, waiting for his early retirement papers to come through and our house to sell. Finally, when the new year began, we were all together again as a family. It was an exciting time in our lives for sure.



Around mid-February, Bob realized he had lost his social security card sometime during the move. We made the trip into Oklahoma City to apply for a replacement card. Exploring our new state was so thrilling. There was so much to see and do. The downtown reminded us of a mini version of downtown Los Angeles, only much cleaner and friendlier. The art deco buildings were beautiful and the tree lined streets were so inviting for a walk. This particular day, we parked near the Murrah building and went in looking for the Social Security office. Once inside, we quickly found the office. At the counter, a very personable woman helped Bob fill out the form for a new card and we were on our way. We knew being Oklahomans was going to agree with us.



Only two months later, I was at our kitchen sink doing dishes when a neighbor ran in the backdoor. She was crying, saying something about a bombing and that I should turn the television on. As I stood in the living room with Bonnie, listening to the unbelievable news of the Murrah Building being bombed, I remembered Bob was working one street over from Murrah that day. I ran to the phone, feeling as if I were running in slow-motion. Before I could reach for the receiver, the phone rang. It was Bob letting me know, although he was shaken, he was physically fine. I desperately wanted to go downtown and help. All I could think about was that friendly woman at Social Security who had helped us. I know this sounds crazy but I even dialed her number twice, praying she would answer the phone. I knew she wouldn’t but I so wanted her to. I could not stop crying and felt the world had truly gone mad.



A few weeks later, I had the opportunity to work a crisis hotline for anyone effected by the bombing. My first and last call was with a young mother who had lost her baby in the Murrah building. His name was Tevin D'Aundrae Garrett and he was only sixteen months old. I will never forget that call. It only lasted about forty-five minutes but it changed my life forever. Never had I heard such anguish as I did that day. Listening to the sorrow in this young woman’s voice was almost overwhelming. All the training in the world could not have prepared me for such grief. As I listened and did my best to comfort her, knowing there were no words that would ever fix this kind of pain, I knew that I was an Oklahoman that day. This mother and I would forever be connected by this horrible tragedy. It was not the way I would have wanted to come to realize I truly belonged to this land but I do. And for that, I am thankful today.


Tevin D'Aundrae Garrett

29 comments:

Brian Miller said...

wow. sobering post...i have visited the memorial and the chairs...sobering as well...glad you could be there for her...

Nancy C said...

You made me cry for that dear little boy and all the other faces. Bless you. Beautiful post.

Rae said...

My heart aches everytime I think of those babies and the lives lost in that senseless bombing. I still remember each moment as I watched the scene unfold on TV that day. Sometimes I think it impacted me more than 9-11. I cried for days afterwards. I still have a hard time understanding how someone could be filled with that much hate to want to murder innocent people especially children. For many of us our lives were changed that day, even though we weren't physically there. I think we lost a bit of innocence and the belief that things like that can not happen here. I pray that there will never be another day like that again.

Amarja said...

I even rembember that day. Here in the Netherlands it was also at the news for a long time. I remember walking there with you and Bob.
Very sad!

The Farmers Oldest Daughter said...

Being from OK but not living there at the time, I remember it so well. One of my friends called and told me about it. A guy I use to work with in Moore now worked in that building for HUD. He is no longer with us nor the 4 children he left behind.

This was a senseless act.

I pray we never forget.

angie said...

Oh my stars.

I have tears in my eyes.

All of those lives lost. Babies just slay me.

How wonderful though that you were able to be there for that poor mother!

Oklahoma Granny said...

I've relived the bombing several times today - writing a short post about it, listening to the local news and reading several Oklahoman's blogs. Although I wasn't directly affected by the bombing, my heart is heavy for those who did and I pray for each and every one of them.

Ms. Anthropy said...

Although I'm not in Oklahoma, that hit much too close to home. I was glued to the TV and could imagine the emotion, pain and loss, especially the babies. I have the TV on right now, watching an interview with one of the child survivors.

TechnoBabe said...

You were certainly meant to be in Oklahoma, weren't you? That was such a shocking tragedy and your kindness and help were part of the healing. I for one thank you for doing your part.

Libbie said...

Wow...I can't imagine the day you had. It must have been so scary! It is so imporatnt to remember that day & the people whose lives were lost or changed. i didin't know anyone but I certianly remembered that. It was touching to read your perspective & it gave it even more meaning to know your life was effected that day. Bless you for digging in & helping like I know is your first nature. (not second with you Marla). Thanks for sharing that little piece of you with me.

Marla said...

Beautiful post... I was only in the 1st grade when it all unfolded, but I even watched the news for days afterwards... What a senseless act.

I know that Oklahomans will never forget.

Marla @ www.asthefarmturns.wordpress.com

Sarah said...

it still feels like yesterday, while i was talking to a customer from oklahoma over the phone and the disbelieve we both had. the senseless maddness.

Mommy Lisa said...

I was on the air in Alexandria, MN when the news broke. My heart just broke...

Lola Sharp said...

Oh, you got me to cry this time. The babies, it slays me. We lost friends and family in the WTC on 9/11, but there weren't babies. And the fact that an American man killed babies! I hope that mom is doing okay.

VKT said...

I just don't understand the evil in some people. How could anyone take the lives of others without a second thought??? A baby snuffed out too early along with so many others. What a lovely tribute to them you have written. This post really made me so sad remembering the horror of watching that tragedy unfold on television.

Unknown Mami said...

Just devastating. What a loss.

kbxmas said...

So, so sad. Crying as I read this. Just unbelievable. Glad you could be a light amidst the darkness.

Prairiemaid said...

Beautiful post. So glad you are "Okies" now.

Two things are forever engraved in my memory, the picture of little Baylee Almon being held by the firefighter and the fence with all the tributes and treasures people hung there.

Has it really been 15 years? And at the same time, it seems a lifetime ago.

Dawn said...

It was so heartbreaking then and it's STILL heartbreaking now.

We are PROUD to have you as an Oklahoman.

Dawn said...

You should link this post up over at TheRHOK. www.therhok.com

I know the other housewives would love reading it.

Kfred said...

thanks for just being there

ShaRhonda said...

Thank you so much for linking up this post to TheRHOK, Dawn was right, I did enjoy (wish there was another word) reading it! Yes, you are definitely an Oklahoman.
♥Mrs. Hart♥

Marla said...

Farmers Oldest Daughter ~ So sorry about your co-worker. You are right. Senseless.

Angie ` I am thankful for that time with her.

Techno ~ I believe with all my heart, I am exactly where I am meant to be.

Prairiemaid ~ Thank you. We're glad too!

ShaRhonda ~ Thanks for coming by!

Kristin said...

I can't even imagine the pain of losing a child like that!

Baloney said...

Losing all of those kids was the worst part to me. That little one has the sweetest face.
I'm so glad people like you were answering the phones and I hope you were able to provide comfort to many.
Thanks for linking up with the RHOK.
~Mrs. Priss

Auntie Cake said...

Such an act of senselessness. What an incredible conversation that you had taken part in. I am sure you will never forget it.
Kate

Okie Book Woman said...

Marla, I am so glad you're an Oklahoman. Thank you for everything you do for people. I can imagine how much your caring nature touched that mom.

When I wrote about the bombing earlier this week, I was amazed at how hard it was to verbalize my feelings. Fifteen years later, there's still so much pain.

gayle said...

So very tragic!! This has changed so many lives! Beautiful post!

Lily Robinson said...

I'm so glad to be comforted by knowing God has this baby in His hands. It was such a tragedy that shook us all.