Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Why does this happen?


Coming home from work last night I knew there was something wrong when the normal weather and traffic was interrupted for a CBS Special Report.  Who, I wondered, had died?  Turns out many people, children included.  Turns out for an Oklahoma community the world turned upside down in an instant.  Literally.

The pictures, the video, the grand scope of the devastation is overwhelming and painful to watch.  It must be even beyond that to actually experience.  I watched a mother being interviewed as first responders scrambled through the leveled elementary school behind her.  “Why does this happen?” she asked.  She couldn’t find her sister or her niece.   At that point in the evening six people were confirmed dead, two of them children.

Why does this happen?  Who can understand when terrible things happen to people?  How can we move forward when such terrible things happen so randomly.  How can we ever feel safe?  And what can we do to help those families in the throes of grief right now?

I went to bed feeling sad.  I woke with a sense of dark, heavy dread.  I knew by now the death toll would be more than six.  This morning it is twenty-four, nine of them children.  The heaviness settles deeper into my heart.

We’re expecting storms here this morning.  Very soon.  They sky is dark and heavy, reflecting the way I feel.  I ask Katie to hurry outside so that we can beat the rain.  The air is thick, the trees still.  Waiting.  Waiting.  I keep an eye on the sky, Katie keeps her nose in the air.  Things happen randomly.  You never know.  Bad things happen everywhere.

As I watch the sky two dark shapes swoop low.  I am startled and then mesmerized.   A pair of sand hill cranes flies overhead.  Very very low,  very slow, almost silent.  Instead of their usual noisy screeching they are cooing gently to each other.   I hold my breath and watch them.  They disappear behind a line of trees across the street.  Stunning.

You see?  Amidst the fear and sadness and confusion there is beauty.  And we rarely ask why.  Why did these two magnificent birds choose to fly right over my head so early on such a sad morning?  I don’t know.  Maybe I don’t have to know why these thing happen.  Maybe I just have to move ahead and live.

And send some money to the Red Cross… for Oklahoma.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

9 thoughts on “Why does this happen?

  1. Truly devastating and heartbreaking.

    Maybe the cranes were your parents, swooping down to give you a hug.


    • I thought that exactly. I have been seeing pairs of Canadian geese almost every day, and I think of those as my parents….I thought maybe they were stepping up their effort this morning because I was so sad. 🙂 But I figured no one would believe me. So thanks!


  2. You’re right; we rarely ask “Why” when things are beautiful and lovely. I guess then it just seems right and fair. And since we don’t always get right and fair, and bad things happen all the time that we cannot possibly do a thing about, we do just have to go and live.


  3. We are getting the the severe thunderstorms now – but nothing compared to what happened in tornado alley. I must admit I was so angry when the wind blew over our umbrella last night (even though we it tied to the railing) it smashed my prized rose….my Moms remembrance rose….I was livid – and then it suddenly dawned on me – it’s a rose – it will grow again…the people who lost their lives won’t grow again….sigh. Have sent money to the red cross too.


  4. The photos of Moore are hard to even fathom. Nature is so powerful, and there’s nothing we can do about it, not even get out of its way. Anywhere you go, it’s something–earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, wildfires, floods, avalanches– I feel so helpless at times. All I can do is help in the aftermath in some small way and keep my fingers crossed. My renter & I were discussing this morning that we’d take an earthquake any day over something like that tornado.


  5. We got a branch of the same storm line that terrorized Oklahoma. Our power was out for 14 hours, starting last night. It’s inconvenient to have to sweat and pick up downed limbs, but that’s nothing next to what those poor souls are facing today. Heart goes out to them.


  6. I awakened w/ a heavy heart this morning, too.

    Beautifully written, Dawn.

    Believe me, I have MANY questions for God when I get up there.



  7. So heartbreaking. I donated to Red Cross, and tried very hard to keep from complaining about anything today. Showing lots of gratitude. Why? Nature sure does seem angry. Our world seems angry right now, too. Maybe there is some connection, or maybe it’s just a random, awful occurrence. I do know the people of OKLAHOMA are strong, bold, and pioneering and they will pull their state back together and take care of one another.
    We had thunder storms. No big deal.


  8. Very beautifully written post about such a tragic event. The cranes coming down to greet you – amazing!


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