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Monday, May 20, 2013

Let's Pray! At Least 51 Reported Dead in Oklahoma Tornadoes

      Before storms and tornadoes struck Oklahoma these last couple of days, my mother and family living here in California had gone home to bury our cousin. Unfortunately, now all their lives are in danger.  I couldn't make the journey as I'm nearly nine months pregnant, but of course I can't help but feel a sense of dread as now my entire family, except my sister, is in Oklahoma under what my uncle's neighbor called, "hell." 
        Living in Oklahoma, storms and tornadoes are a part of life. One continues grocery shopping, errands or what ever it is one was doing while listening to the weather channel to know when it's time to go inside, evacuate or leave.  Our reality, and as crazy as it sounds, is shown in that my mother and uncle were at his house still pulling weeds during the down pours, thundering and updates on the tornadoes when it finally touched down. Above is a NBC news time lapse of a tornado that only lasted about 1 minute and 45 seconds.
        My mom said, "What could we do? We were surrounded by them, so all we could do is stay here at the house and relax." So once the last weed was pulled, down pour and all, they casually strolled into the house with my mother heading to take a 15 to 20 minute shower. 
        Unbeknownst to them, I'm frantically calling my uncle's house and cell phone, in between calling my mother's cell phone. Periodically getting a busy signal or the recording, "This call cannot be completed as dialed" when I know the number is dialed correctly.  And as if the news reports of at least 51 people believed to be dead aren't bad enough, I'm texting and calling my other family that lives in OKC to help do a head count of who is OK (and accounted for) and who hadn't been heard from since the storms struck and all phones went down.  
       So as they casually strolled indoors from gardening in the middle of this storm, under the Oklahoman haze of "tornadoes are a part of life," let me further drive home how bad this storm set had become. When my mother had finally called me back and told me that upon exiting her shower some nearly 20 minutes later, "the darn thing was still on the ground spinning!"
       All I could say is, "Wow!
Sweetwater Oklahoma Tornado
Sweetwater Oklahoma Tornado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       Now I'll be the first to say, that this is one of the main reasons why I left Oklahoma.  Tornadoes produce very beautiful, purple, pink and grey colored skies, but having the threat of our lives being turned upside down once a year, or every other year, because we live in "tornado alley" is not something I wanted to continue doing.

English: Oklahoma City, OK, May 14, 2010 -- A ...
English: Oklahoma City, OK, May 14, 2010 -- A shell is all that remains of a home destroyed by one of 22 confirmed tornadoes trhat struck the state on May 10. These storms produced the fouth largest single-day outbreak in the state's history. FEMA Photo by Win Henderson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

        So far most of my family is accounted for but please let us all take a moment and pray for those who were not as fortunate; those believed dead, hurt, displaced and all of whom are still dealing with the unknowns of when and where the next tornado will strike land.
Union City Oklahoma Tornado (mature)
Union City Oklahoma Tornado (mature) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
~Namaste, Mia 
Follow me @miawhwn and @WHWNMagazine  
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