Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

33 years ago today

Thirty-three years ago today, life as I knew it changed when a massive tornado swept through my hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas.

My mother and I were lucky - we took shelter with our neighbors (they had a bathroom with no windows) and were spared injuries - but when we dared to make our way out of the rubble of our friend's home, we were shocked to find our own house had been totally destroyed as much of our entire street had been.

In shock over seeing the pile of mess that once was our home, my mom and I sit and waited on help to come. What we didn't realize at the time was that most of the southwestern part of our city had been devastated, with many injuries, many many homes losts, and 45 people losing their lives. It was horrible.

After a couple of hours, we realized that no one was coming to help and we needed to find some kind of shelter for the night as darkness was coming on.  My grandmother lived across town, so we knew we had to find a way there somehow.  With our friends, my mom and I begin walking to one of the main roads, hoping to find some way to get out of the damaged area.  As we approached a side street, we noticed a man sitting in his pickup truck, waiting for traffic to begin moving (there were lots of lookie-loos who had come to see where the tornado had hit). My mom and our friend Jane approached him and asked if he was going to the north side of town, and could we get a ride in the back of his truck. He nodded, never saying a word.  We piled into the truck bed (I managed to sit my hand down on a bundle of barbed wire - ouch!) and away we went.

 I know we must have passed by many of the people who had died in the storm as they took shelter under the freeway overpass, but I don't remember seeing anything - thank goodness. Soon we reached the exit that would take us closer to my grandmother's and somehow Jane leaned over the side of the truck and signaled the man that we needed to stop.  We all thanked him profusely for the ride, and again, he nodded and never said a word as he drove off.

To this day, I don't know who that man was, or why he was sitting there in his truck, alone, at a time when we desperately needed a ride.  Was he in shock over seeing the devasation, was he just a kindly good Samaratin, or was he an angel sent to help us in our time of need? 

I'm not sure which of the above applies, but I do know that every year, on April 10th, I send up a little prayer of thanks for that man who gave us the ride that night. 

As the Bible say -

This video tells of the destruction -

1 comment:

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

What a powerful story, Sharon. Thanks for sharing. I'm so glad you were safe during this tragedy.