"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves." --Rainer Maria Rilke (©julenisse/Fotolia)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tornado Theology.

I could tell you it’s been one of those days...
Then I’d remind myself that I don’t live in Moore, Oklahoma.

I could say I’m exasperated, waiting for movers who still haven’t left LA, even though we’ve been cooling our heels in a Kansas college town for days. Then I’d remind myself that my daughter’s bike and bed and boxes are not in scattered in shards across the windswept plain. Her things are intact. Dry. Safe. Out of the elements.

Hell, forget the stuff.

We are dry and safe and out of the elements. We are not fishing through debris, panic-stricken and brokenhearted, listening for the jangle of tags on a dog collar.

Sure, we met some challenges on the trek east, weathering rain and snow, lightning and hail through Colorado and Kansas. But we were never anywhere like Moore, Oklahoma. For eighteen years, we lived in Kansas and managed to dodge the twister bullet every time, surveying the aftermath in
Greensburg, Kansas (May 2007) and Joplin, Missouri (May 2011) from the comfort of our still-standing home, with dinner on the stove and the family pictures on the mantle, right where they belonged.

Tornados, hurricanes, school shootings. How do I know?  I can barely begin to imagine a mother’s terror on those nights and the nights that follow. My family is here with me, happy and healthy. My son is engaged and my daughter is ready to start college. They are not drowned in the basement of an elementary school in Oklahoma, their dreams and mine for them forever submerged.

How dare I complain about one thing today as Moore, Oklahoma, reels, suffering and devastated, one state away? Oh, you can be sure I’ve found plenty of human, first-world things to carp about today… I’ve been impatient… I’ve nit-picked my husband… I haven’t been nearly grateful enough… I woke up cursing a chronic, painful ailment… But, I woke up. And so did everyone I love.

A strange dog actually peed on me today... but I was not shit on by a killer tornado.

Count your blessings. Look for the helpers. Say a prayer. Donate to the relief effort. Forgive someone. Love one another. 


  1. I am sorry to hear a strange dog peed on you.
    You write from the gut. Love that.

  2. Ellen Bowdon5:50 AM

    I love your writing--it often brings be to tears as this article just didl Thank you. I hope that fate will land us in Macon MO at the same time some day. I would love to meet you.

    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Ellen. I hope our paths cross one day, as well!

  3. Anonymous8:07 AM

    Are we not fortunate to take a breath moment to moment and to have love in our lives? You convey this notion beautifully in this piece and remind us all life is a gift. But even more than your words YOU are a gift whenever you walk into a room with your singular vision and brilliant unselfish love that sets an example for me and that I always feel coming from you. You are the gift and this blog is your reflection. A million and a half thank you's Mary, my dear friend.

    1. Oh, Joanna, thank you for your loveliness here, there and everywhere. Such a blessing to have found you, my sister in words.

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  5. I adore you, your wisdom, attitude and your writing. Brava!!!! Get back safe and soon! Valerie Harper awaits!

    1. Adoration returned! So grateful for you, Vicki. Sending hugs and love from Kansas. xo

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