It seems impossible to think that, while Oklahomans were gearing up for our Memorial Marathon this week, the Boston Marathon experienced a similar act of terror.
This week, America has encountered so much loss. Boston. West Texas. And Oklahoma City is remembering the 18th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Murrah Building bombing.
Tomorrow is our marathon.
At 9:01 AM, I was in the 7th grade at Central Middle School when I heard the bomb explode. My teacher thought a gunman was in the building, so she hurriedly locked the classroom door.
That seems so long ago, but it is still fresh on our minds here in Oklahoma.
I still live in Oklahoma City, and I am proud of the community I call home.
If you ever come to Oklahoma, you must visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial. It will silence you and take your breath away.
I also want to mention our community's deep grief from losing a local hero on Monday.
Chad Peery was an Oklahoma City police officer who made headlines in 2011. He was off duty, but was brutally attacked when trying to break up a bar fight. He became partially paralyzed, and EVERYONE here followed the story over time. You can't mention Chad's name without every Oklahoman knowing it.
All three of the men involved in that fight are in prison. Most recently, in 2012, Josh Rinken accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 10 years. Jimmy Smith is also serving a 10-year sentence and Cadmio Lopez is serving a 15-year sentence.
Chad, a husband and a father of four children, endured the fight of his life and was starting to make a little bit of progress. Two months ago, he stood and accepted the Devon Energy Community Hero Award during a Thunder game. There was a standing ovation for Peery, as he has all touched our hearts.
But last Sunday, the van he was riding in had a tire blowout, and he, along with 3 of his 4 children were ejected from the vehicle. On Sunday, it was announced that Chad did not make it. While I believe Chad is no longer in pain, and he is walking alongside our Heavenly Father, I ask you to please pray for his family. I think his children are in fair condition at this point. I can't imagine what his wife is going through right now.
My heart is burdened this week for so many people. And, now more than ever, I pray this aloud each day:
Father, be a hedge of protection around my family. Thank you for directing our every step, causing us to avoid being at the wrong place at the wrong time. I declare your supernatural protection around my children, causing no harm to befall them. Thank you for your unparalleled safety around me and all whom I care about. Amen.
Thank you, dear friends, for taking the time to read this.