Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oklahoma Tornadoes, victims, survivors; we are thinking about you

 Oklahoma Tornadoes have devastated, destroyed and claimed lives... and they need us to send all the loving thoughts, prayers, energy and hope that we can find to them.  I cannot imagine the losses being experienced there, the brains, hearts, souls that are finding the strength to stand in the ruin as the search continues, the quiet and darkness shows up in the blink of an eye and the threat of more appears in other towns and cities across the state even now. PRAYING FOR OKLAHOMA and her people. A shout out to all those in the state that I have met, have touched, been touched by, and those I have called friend... My heart is wrapped around you and my spirit speaks to you to stand, to find your inner strength now knowing that you will move through this and find a rainbow find a sign, find what you need to move on and to rebuild and amazing grace to give you what you need... I am thinking of you all there and join you in mourning so many lives lost......
Our warrior Osh has let me know that she opened her "Cellars" on her property to neighbors both known and unknown yesterday and today and they were filled as the warning was sounded to get to safety there where she lives... The cellars were filled with people underground as they took her up on the offer and came; they opened the door and took the steps underground then the lid was closed. there they waited until it was safe to emerge into the fresh air, and today they are safe, they are working yet watching the skies and the threat there is real, it continues and it is not looking real good for yet another day in Oklahoma where they may again have to retreat underground.  I was so worried as I finally heard from Osh today, as I heard her tell me that the cellar was filled and imagined so many standing shoulder to shoulder in that cellar I had seen for the first time when I was in Choctaw Nation... I had to ask. Was it dark, was it dark?
Finally she let me know that they had a lantern to see by, and it was not what one would call a pleasant experience but more a "pain in the ass."  With that we laughed. Even in times of great devastation and horror there are times that humor and laughter are found.  That was one of those times, the sound of laughter in the face of such fright, pain, losses and impending danger.

 I just cannot imagine looking out my window and from a blue sky seeing the this; now hearing that the quiet is the first key to what is to come, winds of more than 200+ miles and the warnings that let you know to seek shelter immediately.  I was not surprised to hear that our warrior here known as Osh, would go from neighbor to neighbor, those known and those she does not know and let them know before the threat of such things that she has two cellars and they were all welcome to come if needed for refuge and for safety. She is just that good, that compassionate, that caring ... and for the first time, come they did and the doors of both were open to them.  
Meanwhile in OKC, devastation had already hit; horror witnessed and being viewed across the world and on the news.  Lives precious lives lost in rubble and the search still going on as we mourn with them. First responders responding and others arrving, the Guard being called out, people coming to aide and to be all that they can be... Reminding children and everyone, look not at the horror, but look for the helpers.

Many are seasoned helpers in times of tragedy, many more are taking their first time lending a hand, many more are standing where so many have stood in the face of horror now not able to do it like so many times before. Others are wondering why so many children were in a school, so many questions, so much heartache. We are watching Oklahoma show us strength and showing us faith, as rubble is all around some are finding the courage to string our Flag up and stand with grace under skies now again blue in Oklahoma City while places west of there are seeking shelters and cellars and forecasts of potential devastation rush through the air and the veins of people trying to catch their breath.

 We are seeing those who respond looking weary, they are answering the call of their own, their friends, their communities, their beloved state ... yet they stand, they crawl, they will not be beaten down by the likes of this.  Many organizations will join together, many will stand, kneel and will pray together. They will re-build together and show resiliency through shock, numbness, grief, trauma, and growth.
they will lean in and lean to for support.

 So much sadness, so much to talk about... and in this photo we see an Elder who has probably forgotten more than most will ever know, yet he sits in a rocker that made it through devastation his life intact along with that rocker... they just don't make em like that anymore many might conclude. As the Fire Department, the Police Department and so many respond, that Elder sits and takes it all in; probably in a rocker older than any of those responders, he sits and just looks like its another day in his beloved Oklahoma.

 A state where just last week in Choctaw Nation the annual Trail of Tears walk was walked by hundreds as they remembered, a state where the Cherokee Nation remembers and has a similar walk; now in OKC and in Moore such devastation and a new trail of tears is being seen across the world and we watch. Warriors in action as they search for precious lives that may still be there under rubble, and we pray them alive, yet know they may have died; joining the count of more than 55 people lost as a result of massive tornadoes that rolled into beloved Oklahoma, also known as Indian Country... 
A place that I was so honored to speak at not so long ago, with a room filled with folks in law enforcement, in Indian Health from Choctaw Nation, from Children Services, From the University there, with Osh there who showed me that cellar(s) on her property and told me all about it.  A woman of great strength and courage, who let me know some of the history of her community and the surrounding area, and the people that I was so honored to meet, from teachers, to therapists, counselors, nurses, cops, United States Public Health Services, Educators ... all with a story, all together for the betterment of communities some as far as Texas and OKC...
 Oh yes, I feel connected as family to the Choctaw Nation, almost adopted by them now in a oneness and sacredness there, my heart weeps for Oklahoma in the devastation they are now facing. Yet I feel strongly they will show each other great strength through their faith, their inner strength, their mourning and growth along with the resiliency of the Ancestors as we watch them move through each hour, each day. They are in the presence of strong and powerful angels there, and will find the courage to heal after the storms... in time, in work, in amazing grace, one foot in front of the next, arm in arm.
 Oklahoma, we are surrounding you with thoughts, prayers, and hope...


  • There are several ways to help, online or by phone. Sending a text to 90999 with the message REDCROSS will result in a $10 donation.
  • The Red Cross also has a service that allows survivors to register themselves online and lets family members check on the status of loved ones.
  • For victims of the storm, FEMA offers a guide to applying for federal help, as well as an online application for aid, at its website. For those who can't reach a computer, there's also a .
  • In Oklahoma City, news services  have provided their own lists of local aid groups, to help residents coordinate relief and donation efforts.
  • There are many news and updates that include places where families can reunite and where to find emergency housing.
  • Social media is providing many updates on things from the status of the city's water (it's safe) to road closings. Many are checking on family members, status of local updates as well.
  • If you're in an area that could be hit by a tornado this year, FEMA has recommendations  for the powerful storms. The list of tips includes what to do before, during, and after a tornado.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross has several shelters open in Oklahoma and Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles have begun delivering hot meals throughout the affected areas. The Red Cross is also working to link loved ones in Moore who are OK through a website called Safe and Well. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, donate online, or donate by phone at 1-800-RED CROSS.
Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is activating disaster response teams and mobile feeding units to help residents and rescuers in Moore, as well as in other locations in the Plains and the Midwest that were impacted by tornadoes. Donate online or text STORM to 80888 to contribute $10 to the Salvation Army's relief efforts or make a donation by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY. If you're sending a check make sure you put the words "Oklahoma Tornado Relief" on the check, and mail it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK. 73157.
Operation USA
Los Angeles-based international relief agency Operation USA announced it's providing emergency aid where needed to community-based health organizations across Oklahoma. Donate online, by phone at 1-800-678-7255, or by check made out to Operation USA, 7421 Beverly Blvd., PH, Los Angeles, CA 90036. You can also donate $10 by texting AID to 50555. Corporate donations of bulk quantities of disaster-appropriate supplies are also being requested.
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief says it has deployed at least 80 volunteers to respond to severe weather in Oklahoma. Those interested in helping can make a tax-deductible donation to the BGCO's Disaster Relief ministry online or call (405) 942-3800. You may also send checks to: BGCO Attn: Disaster Relief 3800 N. May Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73112.
We also have a reader here Sandy Strickler who we are sending a shout out to that is in OK, wishing you and yours continued safety and blessings...

For Crossroads Hospice we are sending you thoughts and prayers for staff and your patients there, wishing safety to those who are out on the roads, and providing such loving care during such difficult times, 

For Osh, who is at work today and trying to get home as the skies are getting dark, the stillness is giving everyone clues that the storms are coming we pray you safety and have our arms around you all in Choctaw Nation...

Oklahoma we are with you....

and for those who are there, may you find a safe place to place your heart and your heads we honor your pain.
thank you first reponders.

Walk in Beauty

1 comment:

oshkosh said...

Never saw so many tornado touch downs and warnings all at once. I am reminding myself often to not forget those who were in the eye of the storm and have now lost everything. I am helping as best I can and am also ever grateful that my family and friends are safe.