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The other day I came across some old photos in my picture box my step-mother had sent me that brought back a lot of memories of the that terrible day of April 19, 1995. Dad had called me on the phone at about noon and left a message that someone had just bombed a building in downtown Oklahoma City earlier that morning. He lived in Yukon, Oklahoma with my step-mother who was the director of the Traveler’s Aid Society of Oklahoma which was about a block or so away from the Alfred P. Murrah federal building that was bombed. Dad said that he felt the blast some twenty miles away where he lived and the windows of the house rattled it was so powerful.
My step-mother, Gloria Smith, was fortunately out of the office that day. If she would have been in her office that day, she would have likely died since the windows were blown out from the blast and shards of glass were found impaled into her chair where she would have been sitting near the front. Part of the transmission from the Ryder truck used in the blast was found in the parking lot directly in front of the Traveler’s Aid building.
Nothing like that had ever happened in Oklahoma before. On that day, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols killed 168 innocent people and injured some 680 others with a massive bomb made from forty 50 lb bags of ammonium nitrate (fertilizer) and diesel fuel. Oklahoma would never be the same after that. The bomb was the equivalent of 5000 pounds of dynamite and registered about a 3.0 on the Richter scale. It was heard and felt some 50 miles away from the blast. It damaged 324 buildings and shattered glass in about 260 buildings.
The day before the blast suspects connected with the bombing had stopped into the Traveler’s Aid office to ask for gasoline vouchers. My step-mom had to confront them when they refused to give their driver’s license for identification and they then left in a huff after being very loud and arguing with her. She said they drove off in a Mercury Marquis car with no tag which was later identified as belonging to Timothy McVeigh. Two of the suspects who stopped in the office were identified as Melvin Lattimore ( Majahid Abdulquaadir Menepata) and James Rosecrans. She was later interviewed by the FBI some ten times and was later on a Fox News special on a five-minute segment detailing the account.
What a terrible day this was in Oklahoma. It just doesn’t make any sense! I am very glad though and thankful to the good LORD that my step-mom happened to be out of the office that day.
What does it mean to have purpose – a real reason for existence? I am not talking about a job to go to every day or a career. I am talking about something much larger than yourself or a place to go. I am talking about something that will go on after you have breathed your very last breath on planet earth. I am not talking about a selfish purpose for existence. I am talking about something other than yourself and so much more important. Too often we get caught up with being caught up. We throw ourselves as adults into our careers haphazardly sometimes. We tend to move so fast through this short life that we allow the important things to pass us by. Our children grow up never knowing quite who we were until it’s too late. We reach backward to grab those bits of time that we have missed only to one day realize it’s all in vain because it’s too late. Those grains of sand in our hourglass of life have already escaped. Our bank account of time is used up and we can have no more deposits.
May we all strive to live every day like it is our very last. No, may we all strive to live every moment like it is our last. It just might very well be. Do you think that fifty-three year old Colleen Hufford in Moore, Oklahoma realized that Alton Nolen would murder her like he did at Vaughan Foods where she worked? I grew up not far from Moore in Oklahoma City and it really saddens me as to what happened there. Live each moment and live it for a purpose.