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
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.