Twelve years ago today it was bright and sunny. As I set out to do early visits on some patients, I was wearing my favorite yellow and white stripey shirt. I was happy and laughing. I did not know of the terror and sadness that would soon arrive in my life.
o, I wasn't in the Murrah building. I had, however, been in it several times, and when I worked in downtown Oklahoma City, had often eaten my lunch outside it on pretty days. At first, when I first, along with many others, crowded around a tiny tv in a doctor's office, I didn't believe it. The Murrah had reflective glass. This wasn't that building. It took awhile for me to absorb the fact that the glass was gone.When I was told to change into jeans and heavy shoes and then dispatched to help triage those rescued I still had hopes. They were dashed as we were told that the majority of the injured ones had been transported. And that those that were missing...well, it was unlikely they would need us.I was lucky. I didn't lose anyone that was close to me. But I did lose someone I'd known for years. And many of my friends and coworkers were more closely affected.
And more importantly at age 50, I lost the majority of my remaining innocence. This was Oklahoma for God's sake. Nothing like this would ever happen here. Tornadoes, sure. Bombings, no way! But it did.
And I learned. I learned that right this moment is what I have. I learned that you can't wait until a "good time" to tell someone you love them...that they make you smile...that you appreciate their help. Running an errand may be that last thing you do. Cherish the time you spend giggling with a friend, child, spouse, lover...or the clerk at the grocery.
Know too, that I cherish each of you.