15 years ago I was taking my children to a homeschool event. My sister in law called me as I was putting my sons shoes on and said a bomb had gone off in the federal building. I thanked her for letting me know. That time in our country's history pipe bombs seemed to happen as often as they didn't. True terrorism wasn't even on our radar. Not here in the US. US property outside of the Continental US ...yes, but not the US proper.
At the picnic, my young son, not even 4 yet, started to get ansy. He was tired and in need of a nap but the picnic wasn't over for about 4 more hours. I left my oldest with a friend and ran home to put my son to bed. (hubby was home) I waited till I knew he'd fallen asleep, because hubby was taking a nap, too.
I turned on the TV and saw that all hell had broken loose in OKC. It was not a pipe bomb. I was stunned. I gathered myself and ran back to the picnic. No longer in the mood for fun, I told my friends of the true devastation of the bomb and went home. I spent the next 3 days glued to the TV.
I had this uneasy feeling that someone I knew was in the bombing. I kept telling my husband I wondered where everyone from Proclamation was. (I'd been in singing ministry called Proclamation. We'd scattered all over the country when it was over).
It was an odd thought. I had no reason to think I might know someone, but it was nagging at me. It turned out to be nagging at several from our group.
The friday after the bombing, (was a wednesday morning) CBS released the first 6 names of the victims who had been identified. As I started to climb over the toddler gate between living room and kitchen I heard the name
I sprawled out across the kitchen floor and became somewhat hysterical. My husband could not get what happened out of me and called my mom. Mom finally got the words "Trudy Rigney died"
When I finally settled down, I looked up the one person I knew was still in town and told her what I'd heard. She did some quick research to verify and we started to call the members of Proclamation as we talked to one person who knew where someone else was ...calling information, calling colleges for alumni information ...we contacted many of our group. I heard over and over again "I had the uneasy feeling that we'd lost someone from Proclamation in that blast."
It has been 15 years since McVeigh took Trudy's life. Her son thrived. Became baptized and married (and if I remember right, became a father).
Trudy will never be forgotten by me. She was a tremendous young woman who had the kind of compassion that everyone needs to experience. She will always keep a place in my heart and I will miss her terribly.
Tonight I'm being inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. They will be paying tribute to Trudy ...a former president ..not only for PTK, but at the college and campus I'm on. It's fitting.
I feel a bit closer to her being able to share this with her. I wish she was here to see me inducted, but I know that she knows and is proud. Not as proud of me as I was of her ...that'd be impossible.
Trudy, you're always in my heart. I miss you, I always will.