Sunday, April 17, 2005

Ten Years
Today's Daily Oklahoman has a special pull-out section about the bombing of the Murrah Building 10 years ago Tuesday. First I put it aside thinking I would not look at it. Then, after reading the rest of the paper I picked it up and opened it slowly.

I've heard some people refer to a "celebration of hope" happening this week. Anything resembling celebration is still beyond me and the word offends. Even if you add hope to the end. For me, the wound is deep and I just can't celebrate anything about it. Sure, some good came afterward. Lots of good came afterward. True colors of goodness. But I can't fathom any type of celebration.

Last week I read about the erection of media towers and the instillation of road blocks. We've heard about the speakers who are coming and the singers who will sing.

It is too much of a spectacle for me.

April 19 was a day of death. It was the day innocence ended. It was terror.

I'm sorry, I can't celebrate.

So, the paper's insert highlighted the lives of the children who survived the blast. It was wonderful to see them, truly. Each one is a beautiful testimony to hope. But we also relived the death of Bailey and saw once again the photos her mother asked us to stop publishing. We saw the elaborate structure that keeps the survivor's tree surviving. . .

I closed the pages, tears streaming. It seems only yesterday I was there in the middle of it all. Ten years. Ten years ago we changed. I changed. I became scared of loss and acutely aware of the speed of loss. It took me 8 years to lose the fear. I didn't realize until today that April 19 was the day it all began for me. Ten years ago. Such a journey. (Yes, a journey of hope).

Just, please, do not turn April 19th into another Memorial Day where oblivious citizens spend the day drinking beer and skiing on lakes. And no media circuses. My hope is that April 19 will be a day to remember our pain and those who are still struggling with the myriad after-effects of that day of terror. Remember the victims and their families. Remember the volunteers who witnessed indescribable horrors that must still haunt them. Thank those who helped. And pray for them all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jan, I did look at the special section in the paper, but your essay here was much more meaningful and truthful. Thank you!


6:14 PM, April 17, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said. Why is it that every thing has to turn into a media circus? Today they have moved on to the election of the pope. It is none of their business and none of my business. When it is done, it can be announced but this circus created by the media really turns me OFF. bonnie

2:16 PM, April 18, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jan- I, too, remember being involved in the aftermath of the bombing. As a nurse, I was paged to be at the hospital to tend to the injured and wounded they expected to find...but none came. We waited in vain, then went home with empty hearts. I respect your feelings about the celebration of hope, but have also learned through working with hospice that everyone grieves differently. Some, like you, choose to grieve privately. Others need to go to the site and hear inspirational speakers and singers. Either way, we can clearly see the good that came from what satan intended for evil. Some choose to be interviewed on tv, some choose not to. We all have to respect each others grieving process. It does turn into a media circus, but how would we feel if the anniversary was not even mentioned on local or national news? The wound is deep, and each of us have to let God heal it in their own way. These were just my feelings when I read your post. ((hugs)) Sandy

4:03 PM, April 18, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your words ring true, old friend, but I just wanted to share with you what comes to MY mind every April 19th -- YOU! And your wonderful husband, and beautiful family. :-) It's true.... because there is another anniversary that follows soon after the April 19th anniversary. And in those few weeks that followed in 1995, you somehow kept your focus and it all culminated in an incredible wedding and the creation of a beautiful family! The terror of April 19th leaves a hole in my heart, but I never think of it without also remembering what a wonderful friend I have in you. -- meg

9:31 AM, April 19, 2005  
Blogger Jan said...

Actually, I agree with Sandy. Its just the "show" I don't like so much, not the grief or acknowledgement of it. Not even the public grief. I guess the word "celebration" just set me off.

And, Meggie, thanks.

I love you guys!

1:50 PM, April 19, 2005  

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