You really do remember exactly where you were
and what you were doing when tragedy hits!
It was the morning of April 19, 1995. I was living in Calgary, AB, Canada with my husband, Jerome, and two children (our third and fourth had not yet been born). Our son, Kristian, 15 months at the time, was recovering from minor surgery. As he slept in my arms, I sat on our couch and surfed TV channels. To my horror, I came across a sad and truly unbelievable tragedy! As details unfolded that day and later, we learned that the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City was bombed at 9:02 AM as the result of a horrific act of Domestic Terrorism. In all, 168 people were killed and hundreds more were injured. It was heart wrenching to learn that 19 children were killed as there was a daycare in the building. Our Canadian news feeds dedicated hours and days to this tragedy and although I had never been to OKC, I felt an affinity with the city and the courageous citizens who had to endure such sadness and grief. We had no idea that we would call Oklahoma our home a short 10 years later!
My first trip to Oklahoma City was in October 2004. Jerome had been offered a position with Devon Energy and we had decided to move our family of 6 from our native Canada to Oklahoma. One of our first stops, on that trip, was the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. When you visit this Museum, it is not simply a tour but an experience! It is extremely well organized and thoughtfully done, and you come away with a greater understanding of, and connection to the tragedy. There are hundreds and hundreds of details shared through interactive displays, information cases and videos.
Over the years we have taken our out of town visitors to the Museum and I chaperoned on a few School Trips there as well. On one of the school trips, our guide spoke about the Survivor Tree, an American Elm judged to be more than 90 years old. This majestic tree survived the bomb’s blast and witnessed one of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil! The Survivor Tree has became almost personified as a beautiful symbol of strength and endurance.
Well, the years have flown by at unbelievable speed, and Oklahoma continues to be good to us! During our time here, our children have grown into productive adults, we have met fabulous friends and there have been wonderful family additions. We welcomed our son in law in November 2015 and now we are anticipating the arrival of our first grandchild in July!
As well, my jewelry business has also grown and evolved. As I have written in prior posts, my wholesale component is starting to grow and take more of my time. And, I have had the privilege of working with many boutiques and shops in Oklahoma and throughout the United States. Most recently, I was commissioned to work on a very special project that involves using the Survivor Tree Symbol, Trade Marked by the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.
To say that it has been an honor to work on this project seems inadequate, and the significance of this opportunity will never be lost on me. A connection that was forged more than 20 years ago has evolved into me having the distinct privilege of working as an artisan with this esteemed facility! I am grateful to all who have helped me get to this point, and I hope to do this opportunity justice!
Here are a few pictures of the first batch of jewelry I am sending to the Museum today. I pray that these pieces are well received as I send them with many good wishes, hopes for a peaceful future and a heartfelt thank you!