Not a post I ever thought I would write about. Well, maybe in regards to raising kids in a world that is VERY different than how I grew up. I could bring up the subject of these, “mass shootings” that we read about or watch on the news. But you never really think they will happen in your town or that you are so closely affected. It’s in the back of your mind that it could happen but when it does… its shakes you to your core!
Today, was one of those core shaking moments in life. I woke up this morning to text messages asking “Is Alexis okay??” , “tell me Alexis is safe!” , “is Lex home??? Everything okay??” Standing in my bedroom barely awake, my heart dropped into the pit of my stomach!! A million things went through my head as I rushed over to my oldest daughters room, was one of the most unsettling moments of my life. And the relief that went through my entire body as I see her sleeping peacefully in her bed, was one of the greatest moments. To then, have my heart sink back into my stomach as I realize the reason “why” I got those text in the first place. A masacre, mass shooting, whatever you want to call it… happened in the next town over. A place that my daughter was dancing at just the week prior, on Halloween. And she could’ve been there last night. Had my husband and I not asked her to stay home and watch her little brother so we could have date night. I immediately realized that her childhood friend, the one that got her to start going dancing at College Nights at Borderline, was there last night. She had text Lex right before we headed out for the evening, “Hey, Borderline tonight??” I started frantically calling her parents to make sure she is safe, to no avail, I called her aunt, who answered and said she was home safe. But she had been there!! She escaped out of a window, that someone broke by throwing a chair or stool at. Found safety in the back on someones pickup truck as they were driving away. Little banged and cut up, she is home safe. A moment that altered her being. Now, one kid that I knew was there safe, onto the next. Called my dear friend who’s daughter also regularly goes to Borderline. She didn’t go last night! Thank goodness! Then to find out another long time friends children were there! All three of her kids! Celebrating the youngest sibling that just turned 18, plus about 8-10 of her close friends. Who, thank the Lord, all are safe! There are so many emotions that are running through myself and my family. I feel so much relief that our daughter is safe, but deeply saddened because others have lost loved ones and they’ve lost them so tragically. No one should experience what these families are suffering through. And yet, here we are. Something that seems to be a norm?! And this “normal” ISN’T okay!! How do we raise kids and let them go?? When schools, music festivals, churches even college dance nights (the list goes on) are a target for mass killings. And I’m over here struggling with social media and trying to keep my kids innocence somewhat intact. This shouldn’t be a thing. I’d rather deal with my social media issue a million times over than this! And again, my daughter is safe and didn’t go. I don’t claim to know anything about directly suffering through this tragedy, except for it affecting my family, friends and community. One of the safest cities in the country was just ripped to the core. Unsettling doesn’t cover it and words can’t describe.
I have a deep sympathy for families that go through such tragic loss, who doesn’t. My heart bleeds for them. I know it changes when it’s YOU going through the tragedy. Something I can say, I am not experiencing in this instance, at least not for personal lost. And for that, I am beyond grateful. I struggle with, what do I do? How can I help? In what capacity can I make a difference? So last night while on “date night” my husband and I were discussing elections, which just happened on Tuesday. I am in no way getting political, so stay with me… I asked my husband, if he ever thought he would become vocal on social media in regards to his political views. (He and I just post silly or family photos on Facebook or Instagram) He said that he didn’t think he would ever get political, but maybe he would find a voice in regards to our planet and how it can’t and won’t sustain the way it is going. Things change when you have kids and you want them to have the best life. And ya kinda need a planet in order to have a life. The two go hand in hand!! So with that, I agreed with him. Everyone should have a voice, and in a positive way. Our conversation last night was more having a voice in protecting our planet for our children and hopefully future grandchildren. I can be very passionate about this beautiful Earth we are blessed to have! But that will be saved for another time. My focus as of this morning, is how do I PROTECT my KIDS so that they can LIVE, to love this beautiful planet!?! How has the world shifted to such tragic survival for our children??
As I have mentioned before, I struggle with social media. I try making phone calls and face to face conversation, a priority. Teaching my kids to get off their phone and be PRESENT! It isn’t easy making a shift to function on social media platforms. But, I am giving it my best shot. This is me trying to find my voice in this crazy world! As hard as it is for me. Now, as lucky as I am that my daughter was safely sleeping in her bed last night. That isn’t true for so many families and friends of loves ones that lost their lives last night.Their lives stopped in their tracts and will forever be on a different path. I know there is nothing I can do to change or take away any pain that they are suffering through. But talking about it. Sending love and support to them, well… that’s something. Start conversations, and hopefully, one day a solution will present itself. But at the very least, remember and embrace each other. Find a silver lining. When family, friends and communities come together, its gives hope. And with hope, comes some form of comfort, that in time can start the healing process. There is beauty in communities coming together after tragedies. Hope and Love is the foundation that rebuilds the broken.
As ANGRY as what happened at Borderline makes me. I am equally as saddened. As of right now they have no idea what motivated the gunman to target Borderline. Am, truthfully I don’t know if they ever will. I’ve heard he has PTSD? Maybe suffered from depression or mental illness? Regardless, if we take the stand on mental illness, PTSD, gun control. As it all should be addressed! Addressing those issues will definitely take time. Its a huge debate these days. And debates get personal and things can get heightened when emotions take over and drive. My voice, my thought is, don’t be quick to judge, but be quick to listen. If you can listen long enough, a lot of the time, the truth and/or the core of what a person is going through, always surfaces. Patience is key. We ALL can stand to keep our mouths a little quieter, opinions to ourselves and listen just a little longer. How different would the world be if we didn’t always interject our opinions before we let someone land their plane with what they think or feel. Sometimes we just need someone to listen, so we can work out what we really feel and what we are trying to get across. And KINDNESS!! For heavens sake, be kind. A smile and just a simple “Hello” can change someones day. So let do more of that! While we do have serious issues, like gun control, that need to be addressed. Right now, and always, Love HARD! Hug HARD, like actually HUG, not a “I’m a dried flower, don’t touch me”… BEAR HUG! Simply smile and be kind. The small things do count! <3
Lots of Love ~Jeanne