Oklahoma Strong: How We Begin Again

Jun 14, 2013 4:32:34 PM

Dear Keller Williams Family,

Having lived in Oklahoma all my life, one might think that the threat of tornadoes or even the actual experience of one would almost become commonplace. Not so! The truth is that an underlying anxiety automatically creeps in as tornado season approaches, which I imagine is also true for residents in other natural disaster-prone areas of our country. One learns to be prepared, vigilant and to take weather warnings seriously. And, one prays.

When the EF5 tornado struck Moore, Okla., the TV weatherman admonished, “If you are in the Moore area, you must be underground or you won’t survive.” This news literally caused our hearts to skip a beat and we were gravely concerned. We knew it was going to be bad; however, “bad” doesn’t even come close to adequately describing what we were about to experience. The Moore tornado hit approximately 12 miles south of us and we watched the television in amazement as it approached and touched down. The size of it was unbelievable – I felt as if I were in a dream (or nightmare), or watching something being staged for a movie. Our heartache for Moore’s residents set in immediately.

This area has been hit four times in the last 15 years – three of which were within the last few years. By the grace of God, all of our Keller Williams associates are safe, but the destruction of their homes and loss of their precious belongings was catastrophic. Soon after the tornado, I visited our Green Meadow market center and the site of one of our agent’s homes. Words cannot come close to describing what I felt during that visit. Seeing it on TV is one thing – walking among the staggering amount of debris is horrific. Devastation surrounded us – car frames without car bodies; cars stacked on top of each other or twisted like washcloths; bits and pieces of personal belongings (dishes, photographs, etc.) wreckage was everywhere! Our agents searched among the rubble to find any belongings we could for those who suffered a loss. And each item uncovered brought tears of joy as they embraced a priceless piece of their lives.

How do we recoup from such devastation? Goodness knows more than our share has impacted our lives these past several years. Nationwide we have proven that we refuse to run and hide. We are shaken and sometimes knocked to our knees, but we call on our inner strength and courage, very quickly rise to our feet, and compassionately reach out to others during their time of need. We persevere, regroup and regenerate, and for many of us, begin again!

I’d like to share with you a Facebook posting by Cyndi Warembourg Carfrey, of our Keller Williams Realty Elite market center in Oklahoma City. I believe her message is one of deep importance that beautifully puts everything into perspective and perfectly reflects the Keller Williams values by which we live our lives, build our careers and conduct our business. A portion of her posting reads:

“… Let’s have a massive outpouring of grace for that cranky client, that driver that cut you off, that unreasonable co-op agent, cranky kids and the people that we work with every day. Be extra nice, extend extra grace, turn off the TV for a bit, get a massage or just get away from it all even for an hour! I know I need to! I love my newOklahoma family and we will get through this together!”

Thus far you, our precious Keller Williams family members, have sprung to the aid of your fellow associates by contributing more than $95,000 to KW Cares on their behalf. My friends, such compassionate caring literally floods my heart with overwhelming gratitude! You are truly a reflection of God’s light in our world and I am honored to be in partnership with extraordinary individuals such as yourselves!

God bless you!