Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Not If, But When

 Yesterday in Texas, another school shooting took place. The word another wasn't placed in the prior  sentence as an afterthought. It was placed with purpose and intention. In fact, 27 school shootings have happened so far just in the year 2022. This is a phenomenon in and of itself in that school shootings do not occur anywhere else in the world, only in the United States. So, when I state another school shooting has taken place, you, like me, should be appalled, completely gutted and brought to your knees. 

  I shut down the news hours ago. I turned off the T.V., logged off social media and decided that the internet isn't the best place for me now or in the near future. My heart aches for families, for students, for school personnel. I sat in prayer for a time today, not distracted by things of this world or new news reports. Through a time in prayer, I was able to contain the anger in me, yet it hasn't gone anywhere. 

  I will not make a political or gun rights statement. I will not retweet comments made by politicians. I will not engage in conversations or try to educate those that have no desire to understand or see something from another perspective. But I will sit in these feelings that I have about unthinkable situations like 27 school shootings in less than 5 months in this country we call home. 

  This morning, I didn't even see my kids before they left at 7 a.m. for school. My husband was up early as usual, and got the kids out the door. But just because my husband enabled me to stay in bed, didn't mean that I was sleeping. I couldn't. Rather than letting my brain spiral with worry over school and safety, I prayed. For families who have lost their children to a senseless tragedy. For my daughter and conversations she would hear and be a part of at school today. For my special needs adult son, and what he would see on the news that he so faithfully watches every morning and every night. For educators who are broken, worried and face the very real possibility of an intruder or school shooting each and every day. For bus drivers who are the first adult that many students see besides family each morning. For children who are still young and even in their teens who fully understand what happened in Texas yesterday and were worried about leaving home today. For the parents who pulled their children near and questioned if they were making the right decision of sending their kids out the door to a school where safety isn't guaranteed. I prayed for all of them. And I know many of you did also.

  When my 15 year old daughter came home from school today, I gently brought up the subject of the shooting and she said she hadn't even heard that it happened. She said teachers didn't talk about it, her friends never mentioned it and she hadn't sat to watch the news with her brother this morning before school. Lily's only question she asked was if it was near our friends in Texas. I told her no, and informed her it was a good 400 miles away from there. I told her that I loved her, she was safe and if she had any questions for her dad or I, to always feel free to ask. Our highly verbal, heart on her sleeve child assured us she would. 

  Tomorrow, we as parents will do it all over again. Pray for our children as they get ready to walk out the door. Pray for our children as they head to and are at school. And pray for our children as they head home and back into our open arms. We also won't forget what it feels like to hear news like this, yet again, and again. The disbelief, the sadness, the upset, the anger. May we never grow complacent, or think it is just a passing trend. Until major changes in our country are made, no real change will ever occur. And it won't be what if another shooting happens, but when. 

I Know What That Means- By: Kelli J Gavin for Writers Unite!

I Know What That Means By: Kelli J Gavin After my family moved to Minneapolis three years ago, my parents refused to visit us in our ne...