Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oklahoma Tornado - May 21st Evening.

May 21, Cont...

Just as I thought the day was winding down I received a phone call from the University's housing department asking if I could volunteer from 8pm to 12am. Being the go-get'em type of girl that I am, I couldn't help but say yes! I made way to the residential halls where I assisted in the food services. As I was cleaning tables and putting away dirty dishes I noticed a familiar face, Charley. I recently just met Charley this past semester, as we shared a class together. He is an older college student that came back to complete his goal of attaining a degree. I wasn't sure if he was there as a victim or as a volunteer but I was on my way to find out.

Unfortunately I soon was informed by him that he was there as a victim of the tornado. My heart tore to shreds as he unraveled his story. He lost everything; house, clothes, memorabilia, all of it gone. Charley explained since they did not have a cellar or basement (like most residents in Oklahoma. Which was shocking to someone from the east coast) they camped out in the storm shelter in his and his family's yard. When the tornado was on top of them Charley and his niece had to physically hold the shelter door down using all of their body weight. Even then the door was still shaking and moving from the harsh winds.

By the end of our conversation, I was emotionally exhausted. Scared for him and his family. Amazed at how a tornado so strong can come out of thin air, literally. Most of all I was happy he was okay. We exchanged numbers and gave a hug. I told him to make sure not to worry that night, to take a night off from stress, he laughed and said he would try.

I'm taking some pots and pans to him today which doesn't seem like much, but to him it's a blessing.

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