Rainbows at end of the storm

Oh, those heartbreaking images from the storm-ravaged Midwest.

The nearest brush I have had with a tornado (and the nearest I hope I ever have) was 20 years ago.

As the twister roared by east of us, baseball-sized hail decimated the roofs of every building we owned and shattered every north-facing pane of glass. We huddled inside our living room with a terrified, slobbering dog.

A close encounter makes you wary of storms for the rest of your life.

Some years later on a sweltering summer afternoon when our daughter was young, a glowering mass of clouds blackened the western sky.

I was watching with a mix of hope for rain and fear of violence, when my toddler followed my gaze. Her face lit up at the sight of the imposing thunderhead and she exclaimed, "There will be a rainbow!"

I have never forgotten that. There are, indeed, rainbows of all sorts, even in the darkest of tragedies.

In Oklahoma this week, the rainbows are emergency workers, miracle survivals, a dog clawing out of rubble into its owner's arms, a veteran's funeral flag sitting untouched on a fireplace where a house once stood.

I cannot fathom what those families will go through in the days, weeks and months to come, but I wish them rainbows on every step of the journey.

— Betty Williamson refuses to stop looking for that elusive pot of gold. You may reach her at:

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