The Norman Transcript

News Features

May 24, 2013

Family shelter saves 11 lives



Mosley stayed on the phone with her as he emerged from his daze in the shelter onto an unrecognizable scene.

There was no trace of the picturesque home that once was there.

Sally at first didn’t look at the pieces of her battered home. Her eyes immediately turned south.

“Our granddaughters live in an addition just south of us, and I needed to see if they were safe,” she said. “When I saw that their houses were still standing, then I began looking around. Then it just overwhelms you.”

n n n

The house is totaled, but all is not lost.

Sally rescued a few mementos. She and the 10 others who took refuge in her shelter survived.

The remains of Sally’s dream home will have to come down. The remaining walls aren’t sturdy. The “H” on the front porch, which she meticulously painted 14 years earlier and weathered so many storms, is obscured by debris and insulation.

Memories won’t go anywhere, but Sally, still reeling from the disaster, doesn’t know if she has what it takes to come back.

Gary Garland, her brother-in-law, thinks she does. He can’t imagine her doing anything else, but he knows it’s a decision she will have to make as she moves in with her son and begins the long process of rebuilding more than just a home.

With the faintest hint of a crack in her voice, Sally began to look toward a difficult future.

“I don’t know what I’ll do now,” she said. “You just put your faith in God, and he’ll show you the way.”

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