Grieving Mom Shares Memories Of Daughter Killed In Moore Tornado

Tuesday, July 16th 2013, 5:47 pm
By: News 9

Almost two months since 24 people died when a vicious tornado tore through Moore, a mom of one of the seven children killed inside Plaza Towers Elementary speaks to News 9.

Kristi Conatzer and her husband thought their children, 9-year-old Emily and little sister Lucy were in the safest place on May 20, at school, since they didn't have a shelter at home.

"We ran up as soon as it happened," Conatzer remembered. "My husband started looking for Emily and we ended up finding Lucy. She came out with a concussion and some bruises and stuff, but she was fine. We didn't find out until the next day that Emily had died."

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak  

Conatzer calls it the worst day of her life. 

Now living in a hotel and driving a rental car, the Conatzers are coming to grips with reality.

"I know she's not coming back now and it's an awful, awful thing to wake up and face each morning," Conatzer said.

Losing her big sister has been especially difficult for Lucy. 

"It's kind of hard to have a sibling and then lose them, especially when they're your best friend and you're used to seeing them all the time."

But it's the memories of the little girl with a big smile that will always live on.

"Emily was such a big presence in life and she was such a beautiful kid and such a kind heart," her mom remembers. "I admire the strength she had in life. That's why I choose to keep carrying on and why I have to wake up every day and we just carry on for her."

The Conatzers move into a house August 1.

The Conatzers and other families have gotten behind Shelter Oklahoma Schools with the goal of getting shelters in every Oklahoma school.

You can help them and other families who lost children at Plaza Towers through an account set up with the Oklahoma Educators Credit Union.