felt I let her down.
I didn't rebuild. I sold the lot. Some Oklahoma State fan lives there. As a Sooner, that sort of bothers me. I married my best friend, Diane. We live in Edmond.
Like any time your life is changed in an instant, I learned lessons.
A personal one was the hardest.
For years, I lied to myself and others, saying my loss only bothered me for the first week. After all, I wasn't in the house when the tornado struck. As a newspaper reporter, I've seen many who suffered worse. I am a tough guy. I told myself that over and over.
I decided one day that it isn't so wrong to be a little crazy and short of breath during tornado warnings. I've felt better since.
One practical lesson was costly.
Over my years there, I failed to keep track of how much the house had gone up in value. By 1999, it was underinsured by thousands of dollars. I didn't know until I got the insurance money. It's something I advise friends to check.