Today is the 16th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. I wrote this a year ago.
Today I'm going to eat at Sonic.
Fifteen years ago I was lying in bed reading when there was a loud noise and the house shook. I initially thought that a car had hit the house. I lived in Oklahoma City and I was three and half miles away from the Murrah Federal Building.
Within a couple of hours I was scrubbed in surgery at St. Anthony's. I was no longer an employee, having parted ways with the hospital almost a year earlier. I was part of three separate teams working at the same time on the most seriously wounded patient. I've been scrubbing for almost twenty years. I remember two patient names. This woman is one of them. (The other had the same first and last name as I do.)
At one point I went to see if I could help in instrument processing. St Anthony's was the nearest hospital to the federal building. (Close enough that the hospital building itself had minor damage.) Hundreds of walking wounded had found their way to the St. Anthony ER. Almost all of them had severe lacerations. The average hospital stocks maybe thirty suture trays. Luanna, the scrub in charge of processing, had her staff opening every tray we wouldn't being using that day, the GYN instrument and the like, and reassembling them into suture trays: Two hemostats, a needle holder, a pair of scissors and some forceps.
When I came out of surgery, I was surprised to find bags full of Sonic hamburgers. Someone at Sonic had figured that there would be a lot of people working a lot of hours at the hospitals who would not have much chance to eat. They made and sent thousands of burgers to every hospital in town without being asked.
Today I will say a prayer for the souls of the departed and a prayer for the continued health of the survivors and families. And I'll eat at Sonic.