The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

June 6, 2009

Woman deals with loss of husband, 2 sons

On the south wall of Terri Knight’s mother’s living room in Enid hangs a clock, surrounded by large photos of Terri’s husband and her two babies.

Those photos and her memories are all Terri has left of her family after a deadly fire March 25 in their Massa-chusetts apartment took the lives of her sons — 1-year-old Ali and 2-month-old Hassan — and her husband — 38-year-old Oudah Frawi — and almost claimed her own.

“She put that clock there because she said time is the only thing between them now,” said Terri’s mother, Tina Griffin, as her daughter sat quietly nearby, looking ahead of her, at nothing, for a time before her tear-filled eyes turned upward to look at the photos of her family.

Love on the line

Terri Knight was scared but determined as she headed east in June 2006 to meet her soon-to-be husband, Oudah. The then 24-year-old met Oudah through a telephone dating service and spent a month corresponding with him via the phone and Internet.

“And then I went down there, over there,” Terri said.

“He sent you a train ticket,” her mother added, as her daughter sat, silently rocking, playing nervously with her hands, which were covered in therapy gloves to protect the healing burns.

But she laughed when asked if she had dated online often.

“No, I’d never done that before,” she said.

Nevertheless, she fell in love with the man with whom she was corresponding, and the young woman raised and educated her entire life in northwest Oklahoma decided to take a big leap of faith.

“I was scared to death when she left,” Tina said. “I was, like, ‘Oh, call me, call me, call me.’ I kept buggin’ her, and she goes, ‘I’m OK, Mom. It’s OK.’”

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