Tuesday, April 7, 2015
See You in a Bit
Just a note to let you know I'll be off-grid for a few weeks. I'm leaving in a couple of days to spend a bit of time with my sweet mother, who is in late stages of Alzheimer's.
For anyone who has been through this with someone they love with all of their hearts, I don't need to tell you how heart-breaking this disease is.
On top of this, I'm looking down the barrel of the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. It's so hard to believe that my sweet big brother was murdered 20 years ago. He had so many plans (he was only 43-years-old at the time) and was so looking forward to the future (he was a pilot with his own plane and had planned on trips to Alaska, New York, and more).
Not to mention I was just three blocks away on the other side of Robinson Avenue. I was on the 21st floor of the First National Bank building (a place my father took me to as a young girl to watch the stock tickers on the bank building floor) when the blast happened. Someone said "that's the Federal Building," and I said "my brother works in the Federal Building."
I'll never forget riding down the elevator around 10:30 a.m, about an hour and a half after the blast. I was so happy to get a day off of work! I hated my job and the people I worked with. It was like a free pass. And then I saw the enormity of what had happened. OKC became "The Oklahoma City Standard." Within minutes, expressways were blocked off with police vehicles. Luckily, I was able to take Reno Avenue to my parent's home in Midwest City.
I'll never forget the next few hours. My dad was still in his garden. Mom and I sat on the couch watching the television. I laid down with my head on her lap. After a while, my Dad come into the house. He eventually decided he needed to go downtown to Saint Anthony Hospital, the clearinghouse for bombing victims, to try to find his son. Once there, he found a big bulletin board with names of people treated and released. And guess what? "Paul Ice" was shown as treated and released. Needless to say, we were thrilled, but where was he? Turns out, SO WEIRD, there was a janitor at the Methodist Church across the street whose name was Paul Ice.
Now we have been in the OKC area for decades and thought we knew everyone with the "Ice" surname, but had never met this man (still haven't).
So the day grew longer. We waited. And waited. And waited. Eight days until they recovered Paul's body. He is now buried alongside his beloved father and other family members at the Fairview Cemetary outside of Apache, OK, the hometown of our sweet, sweet Momma, and next to our Dad's grave and later our Mother's. There is one more plot and I'd like to think that maybe someday me, my husband, and our cats and dogs' ashes may lay next to them. Or we'll be in Arlington National Cemetary, or the National Cemetary here in beautiful Chattanooga, TN.
And one last thing since I'm spilling my heart. Our sweet girl, Muffin, is not long for this world. I have so loved this sweet, sweet puppy-dog-girl since she came into our lives the 4th of July weekend, 1999. She and I have been together almost every moment of our lives since then and I can't imagine life without her. I treasure every moment with her.
So, thank you for your patience. I look forward to getting back in action in a few weeks.
Please remember Oklahoma City. Visit www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org.