A tornado, a boy and a frog


May 3rd, 1999, an F5 tornado struck Oklahoma. This tornado was said by meteorologists to be the strongest wind ever recorded, and we were a direct hit. Huddled in our neighbor’s basement, the home was ripped away and shredded above us as debris rained on us. We struggled to fight our way out of a pit loaded with shards of broken home, lumber, nails, glass, crushed cement and bricks. A large propane tank had been ripped loose and was lodged in the debris over us spewing propane into the hole we were in. We threw our 2 year old son over the edge, and he huddled in the dark and pouring rain as we fought our way out to join him. We survived, but he was so afraid and quiet and sad. We found temporary shelter in the local court house, then a hotel room. The Red Cross was there with food and clothing. You had a "store" set up where we could get the things we needed most. Our little son found a stuffed toy, Mr. Frog, in your supplies. Mr. Frog had a pull string and sang the most comforting lullaby, he soothed our son and believe it or not, I found solace in his simple and timeless comfort as well. You were there first, and you were there best. No endless paperwork or scrutiny, just a safety net for our bruised consciousness. We will never part with our little green friend, he is in the treasure box, and yes he still sings. God Bless you, and that is why I always choose Red Cross when I am able to give.

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