okierivermama (okierivermama) wrote,

Old Wounds and New Beginnings

  Fifteen years ago today one of the most horrific events in our country occurred.  At 9:02 am a home grown coward set off a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK.  I needn't describe the major details for you, everyone who was alive April 19, 1995 remembers what happened.  Seeing the building ripped apart, the limp body of Bailey Almon in the firefighter's arms, the blood, the glass, the shell shocked faces looking so eerily similar to those we have seen in tragedies the world over, and yet it was here, in America.  Not only was terrorism on our shores, (The first bombing of the World Trade Center in '93 was still fresh on our minds) but here it was in the very heart of the country. 
I was in Philadelphia at the time, but I devoured the news magazines and the hometown papers my dad sent me from Oklahoma City.  I read everything I could find on the subject because I couldn't put it down.  I was drawn to it and every terrible detail printed itself on my brain.  I felt helpless and in some ways wanted nothing more than to come home and yet I knew there was nothing I could do to help, I knew that my being home in Oklahoma would not have prevented it from happening any more than I could prevent the sun from shining.   I internalized every detail as if it had happened to me, personally, and my depression raged sometimes out of control.  I didn't have that name to put to it then though.  I thought my response was pretty normal for someone raised in Oklahoma City, familiar with the buildings, the area, the people.  It would be some years later before my depression was diagnosed.  I began taking meds for my depression April 11, 2000.  One of the first major clues to me that they were working, was that I was able to watch the 5th anniversary memorial and though I still cried, it was with empathy, and sympathy, not the heart wrenching sobs I had always felt about it.  I still felt impacted, but not as if I were a direct participant anymore. 
So today I remember old wounds.  The gaping scars they left like the buildings ripped apart in the aftermath of the bombing.  And I celebrate new beginnings because it was 10 years ago today that I realized I might really get to have a normal life.  Without the crying, without the chaos, without the hell that depression had left me with, and that there was hope for the first time in a long time.  It was the day I realized I might reach something called happy that I had dreamed of for so long, but couldnt ever picture happening to me.  Had it not have been for that day 10 years ago, I would not have the life I have now.  I would not have realized the great joy and happiness I could feel.


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