Yesterday I mentioned that the town of Piedmont, OK was ravaged by the May 24th tornado. Piedmont is located just a few miles west of Oklahoma City and is an incredible little town. People move there to be near the city, but still have a little country living. You can buy houses with a few acres, put up a barn, own a few horses, etc. The school district is excellent and is another reason why people desire to live there. I can fully attest to the excellent school system because it is where I taught for eight years. I remember being hired to teach sixth grade language arts just a month after I graduated from college. I was a bit nervous about teaching middle school since my degree is in Elementary Education with an endorsement to teach English in 6th-8th grades. I figured I could try it for a year, and then if I didn't enjoy it, I could move somewhere else. But guess what happened during that first year? I fell in love with middle schoolers. Sure they can be crazy and hormonal, but overall, they are incredibly thoughtful, intelligent, and funny! Not only were the kids great, but the staff at the middle school where I worked was simply amazing. I worked closely with the other sixth grade teachers and feel honored to call them my friends. If I ever go back to work full time, I will high tail it back to that middle school in a heartbeat.
One of my friends, Sharla, taught sixth grade science next door to me for the entire eight years I worked there. She is an amazing teacher, loves her kids, and was so fun to work with. On May 24th her entire house and her barn were completely destroyed. And then today, she received word that her father (who lives near Tulsa) died unexpectedly. I cannot imagine the trauma of losing your home and your father in a matter of two days. Please keep Sharla and her two boys in your prayers.
Another story to surface out of this tragedy is of the Hamil family. This is a Piedmont family I did not personally know, but have enormous sympathy and compassion for. Mrs. Hamil was home alone when the tornado violently blew through. She had three of her children in the bathtub in the central part of her home (like we are all told to do), but the winds were too strong and literally stole her three year old out of her hands. After a two day search, his little body was found. He did not survive. In addition, Mrs. Hamil's other young son received life-threatening injuries during the storm and died at the hospital. I cannot imagine her grief. It is just too much. Please keep the Hamil family in your prayers as well. You can go here to read more of their heart-wrenching story.
If you would like more information on how to help the victims and survivors in Piedmont, a community I dearly love, please visit this website: www.piedmont.stormhope.org
Thanks blogger friends. And hug your kiddos tightly today.