Lynne Holman is one of many women whose homes were destroyed by the tornadoes that struck Oklahoma in late May. She attended COHI's Relaxation Station Spa Day in June and we were able to hear her story.
"We lost pretty much everything," she said. "Our house was totally destroyed. It still amazes me that of all of my clothes that hung in the closet, just a handful were left, and the rest were blown away."
Holman had just moved to Oklahoma on April 12, 2013 from Rhode Island to be with her boyfriend. He had grown up in the house they lost. Between the two of them, they lost three cars, all of their furniture, family photos, and heirlooms that have been handed down for generations.
Holman appreciates all those who rose to the occasion and did what they could to help the people of Oklahoma.
"Many volunteers helped us clear debris during those first two weeks. People drove down the streets offering food, water, gloves and masks," she said. "It seemed like every 15-20 minutes, people drove through with offerings. There was a church group that gave us two $25 Walmart gift cards; the company where my boyfriend works was also very helpful. My sisters and their friends sent us gift cards as well."
One of the most overlooked effects of trauma such as this, is the psychological impact.
"For the first two weeks after the tornado, I was afraid to be left alone," Holman said. "I'm easily startled by noises. I am still not sleeping through the entire night. Thankfully, the nightmares have stopped."
"I received some counseling from a lady at the Methodist Church," she said. "I met with her three or four times, but as a strong woman, it has been hard for me to accept that I do need help. I always feel that others need it more than I do."
We encourage all women to ask for help in these times of crisis. And we encourage all those who are able to give back to their communities and help those in need.
COHI worked with local volunteers to put on the Relaxation Station Spa Day event.
"It was a prayer answered!" Holman said. "I walked in feeling closed off to everyone around me but left feeling very open and safe. The acupuncture I received along with the massage was the most relaxed I have been since the tornado hit on May 20! The volunteers were amazing!"
Please continue to check in with the people of Oklahoma and the women all over the world affected by natural disasters. The struggle is often hardest for them months after the initila event, once the immediate aid has come and gone.