NORMAN — On Wednesday it will be exactly six months since the lives of many that live in Moore changed forever.
On the outside, six months seems like a long time. But when you are trying to build your life back, it’s an eternity. It’s hard to imagine that things would ever be normal again shortly after a tornado ripped through Moore on May 20. But here we sit, six months down the road, and things are still bleak, nobody would argue that, but there seems to be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s still hard for some to talk about. Even in the newsroom old feelings have resurfaced in the wake of the six month mark.
Friends of mine that have lost homes are just now starting to put the pieces of their lives back together. One friend gets excited over anything like a hand-me-down spatula for the new home she just bought. It’s been refreshing to hear her talk about paint colors and what’s the best refrigerator to buy. But, at the same time, that friend is just now able to listen to her voicemails from May 20.
As a resident of Moore myself, it’s been an inspiration the last six months to see my community pick itself back up and try to make a new normal. I’ve shed tears one too many times while sitting at the stoplight at the corner of 4th Street and Telephone Road. Something about that empty lot where a convenience store used to sit and where lives were lost, just can be too hard to handle at times — even six months after the fact.
But then there are the sounds of construction crews hammering away. The beeping sounds of big trucks bringing in loads of supplies to neighborhoods as they are being rebuilt. That’s just a golden noise.
I can’t count how many times I’ve tried to buy something at the local home improvement store and it’s been sold out. Not because the store isn’t keeping it’s inventory up, but because the demand is all too much. In the past, this would have been a frustration, now I celebrate it like a small victory. I see it as my neighbors are coming back and they are making new lives.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to talk with Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy, a Moore native that has seen his community ripped apart three times by storms. The May 20 tornado, Eddy said, has been the hardest on him and his staff, “because you get worn down for one thing, but you just ask why? And there’s no answer to why. It happens. And unfortunately it happens to us more often than it should. It really gets old seeing the community destroyed,” Eddy said.
But, Eddy adds, Moore always comes back, bigger, better and stronger. This is true. I see it everyday driving through Moore. New businesses, new houses. New memories ready to be made. And although the old ones will never be forgotten, it’s still simply amazing to watch a city become a home again.
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