I was actually in Oklahoma when the bombing took place. I had just started a new job as an ICU nurse at St. John's Medical Center in Tulsa, and we were in one of our orientation classes. We had been on break and when we reconvened, our instructor came in to the the room, visibly upset. Wide-eyed and hands shaking, she gave us the few dreadful details and told us class may be postponed if they needed volunteer medical personnel to head down to Oklahoma City. I don't remember much of the rest of that class, even though we did finish it. We would all head to the nearest TV on the rest of our breaks and were stunned and horrified by what we saw. We would only be more appalled in the coming days when the gory details unfolded as well.
Having moved to Tulsa from small town Iowa only two years prior, I just remember this overwhelming need to help. And so did everyone else in Oklahoma. It was amazing to see how Oklahomans would come together in the coming weeks, months and years and respond to this tragedy. They are a resilient and stubborn group (hey I can say that, I am married to one of them) in the best sense of the word. They are good people.
I am an Iowa farm girl at heart, but I will always think of Oklahoma as my second home. So many good things happened there in my life. I landed my first real honest to goodness nursing job. I met the boy I wanted to love forever. I had our first sweet baby at the "Pink Palace". I did a lot of growing up from age 22 to 30 where the winds come sweeping down the plains.
The evil that was Timothy McVeigh is hard to fathom. You can't predict it. Can't detect it on a radar. There are no warnings or sirens. After weathering the storm, you come out of the celler to the sun shining and start to pick up the pieces. With faith and hope, that is what Oklahoma has done so well.