OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Florence Rogers still keeps bankers’ notes on the costs of April 19th, 1995.
She is the former CEO of the Federal Employees Credit Union, now retired, but still very busy in a tiny, converted office in her home.
“That day changed my life,” she admits.
Rogers continues to ride the red line that runs on the margins of pain, suffering, and loss, drawn straight through the notes of a staff meeting on the morning of the 19th, a meeting only she survived.
She recalls a secret service agent friend telling her, “You are a miracle. There was only 18 inches of that floor that didn’t break away that saved your life.”
Florence’s nickname at the credit union was ‘Mother Goose’.
Of the 18 employees in her office who lost their lives that day, she’d hired them all.
“My goslings, I called them,” she says. “We were all very close.”
The boxes, dozens of them, contain their collective memories and what she did after April 19th to open her credit union, miraculously, two days later.
“I thought, ‘there are 16,000 people that belong to the credit union and they depended on us for their money.”
The walls in her office are covered with recognition deservedly given to her in the few years after 1995 until her retirement in 1997.
She displays one plaque recovered from the rubble of the Murrah Building.
“I think it changed so many people,” she says.
People she would meet on speaking tours, friends, and family kept encouraging Florence to distill some of her experiences into book form.
It took two years of combing through often painful memories, but she did it.
‘Mother Goose’ hatched her memoir this spring.
She chuckles and says, “I thought it would never get here but it did.”
She’ll turn 86 in 2021, long retired, but still working.
Her lungs are scarred from that awful day, but her spirit still soars, turning good from bad, and sending grace to all her goslings.
The book is titled, “Mother Goose: An Oklahoma City Bombing Survivor Talks Leadership, Endurance, and Love”.