I have a heavy heart today.  Yesterday’s senseless tragedy has me speechless. We were out late last night helping with wedding preparations for dear friends of ours.  After returning home,  I fell into bed knowing that I only had about four hours of sleep ahead of me before we had to start the final stage of preparations.  I was exhausted but couldn’t sleep. All I could think about was how there were parents, somewhere in Newtown, Connecticut, who were also wide awake in the middle of the night, aching to be able to have their child back home in their beds.

Where they belong.

I was thinking about the families of the staff members who lost their lives trying to protect those children who should be spending the weekend together preparing for Christmas. 

Or perhaps a wedding.

The high school that my three daughters attended was once the scene of a horrific school shooting and because of that, it is now surrounded by intrusive, but necessary, black wrought iron fencing.  And because of that, I am not immune to the fear.

The school they attended isn’t an urban school where the stereotypical fear once resided.  Their school is in a suburban setting among pristine mountains and rivers. 

It didn’t matter then.

It didn’t matter yesterday.

And because of what our community endured, I have almost daily thought about Joey’s safety when I drop him off at school in the morning. If even for a second. Sometimes it is the front wall of glass windows that makes me wonder.  Sometimes it is worrying about the classrooms that are upstairs.  Sometimes it is a fleeting moment of concern for  Kathy, our school secretary who is the first person to receive visitors.

Even with our high school being victim to such craziness,  I have always been able to dismiss the thought and go about my day.

Until yesterday.

Gut wrenching.  Heartbreaking.  Sickening.

My daughter and I were shopping on Tuesday outside of Portland, not too far from where the shooting took place at Clackamas Town Center.  Later that day, before the shooting, we moved on to a local mall.  While walking towards the food court, we saw a 20-something year-old dressed in all black from head to toe, with his sweatshirt hood tightened around his face and a full backpack on his back. 

“That’s creepy”  Cassidy said.

My reply?  “I know.  Keep your eye on him.”

How insanely wrong is that?!   Cassidy shouldn’t have to feel that way.  I shouldn’t have to respond that way.

We shouldn’t have even noticed him.

But one hour later, our reactions to him were validated by the shooting that took place in a similar food court not too far from where we had just been earlier that day.

Where my sister and niece were about to go until they realized they had to pick up her daughter from preschool.

And a few days later, Newtown.

I don’t have any answers and I’m sure my opinions on the topic differ from many, but we all share the same heartfelt demand:

No more.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Brooks, mother of three says:

    Your words express my thoughts exactly. I continually tell my children I do not worry so much what their actions are, but worry most about others actions, whether it is at a mall, a party, driving, or even sitting at a stoplight. They are 23,22, and 14 years old but each night before I go to sleep I think for a moment if each are safe.
    I think a little bit of each person was touched by the senseless acts, even our relatives in France and Switzerland and Italy are impacted by the shooting and are searching for answers and discussing how to make the future safer , if possible. Just as Americans were shocked at the shooting at a school recently in a French elementary, the World is in mourning.

  2. I agree with the thoughts you shared. I do think that we convince ourselves if we live in a good neighborhood things will be fine. As you can see it just doesn’t matter and I don’t think guns are the problem it really is people. I believe it is time to take children off of drugs and get them them from in front of the tv and video games. These things make you desensitized to the reality of ones actions. Parents need to make sure children connect their action to the situation and then maybe these things will stop. Just food for thought and may God watch over these families in the coming days.

  3. Yes, no more. Prayers for the families, the town, the state, the country. Heartfelt thanks to the teachers and administrators who place their lives on the line every day to protect our children. Teachers are educators, nuturers and protectors. Thank God there are so many people who have the passion to be with our children for so little pay. Where would we be without them? NO MORE!

  4. Brenda J. M says:

    Wow!! Still wearing blinders in the USA! As a Canadian I get angry everytime I hear of another gun slaying in the US. And the people say ” How could this have happened?” YES Guns are the problem and yes…the people who feel they MUST have them as A RIGHT (really), are a problem , as is the mentality that the man who killed these children was “evil” or it has anything to do with a “God”!! Common sense seems to be a missing virtue.
    Evil is the guy who plans this and tortures with glee… not a man who had obvious mental issues and “loner” issues (which were observed & ignored), had access to lots of guns, goes and randomly shoots children and teachers dead. Hell…. his Mamma, the Principal taught him to shoot as a child….THAT IS A HUGE PROBLEM RIGHT THERE. Why in any normal world does a child need to learn to shoot? Explain that to me without certification that your head has been examined and is normal!

    Gun restriction laws are an absolute necessity in the USA – these numerous gun attacks in schools should have wakened you up long ago; instead you blame the shooter (usually also a victim of some abuses).

    IF your needing to protect your homes, buy big thick door locks, window locks etc. and use them, night and day. Restrictive -TOUGH! Better than a gun on the loose in the hands of the young and being dead.
    You dont need guns unless you REQUIRE them to do your job everyday. THEN THEY GET LOCKED AWAY, Ammunition locked away separately.

    More socialization is absolute. Communities where folks do say hello to each other, help each other – just cause they can and know their neighbors by name; that wouldn’t be too old fashioned of us would it?
    Humanity is being lost. It isn’t the games, the t.v. the music…. it is what we allow our CHILDREN to be influenced by. We the parents are responsible for their development and if we let it become the other things…. why do they need us?
    Get back to doing what we as parents are meant to do: preparing our children to care for themselves as adults. Discipline fairly and objectively. Learn along with them and stop making fun of others less fortunate.
    It’s just too easy to pass the buck.

    I’m not saying Canadians dont have problems with guns, but thankfully we not have repeats of this type of news year after year. In my 51 years I have only known Cops who own guns not one other person I have met in my 30 years in Healthcare Management did someone say to me….”Boy, I sure need to teach my kids how to shoot a gun someday soon.”

    Allow these families to heal with a support of love…not looking for someone else to blame and leaving it to “Gods” hands. Please.

    • No Brenda there are no blinders here and as you state you are a Canadian. Guns don’t jump up and shoot people, people do. As for a means to kill with or maim that’s what they do. If you outlaw guns so what, there are other weapons that can be used to kill with If someone is intent on mindlessly killing then that is what they’ll do. You can’t legislate sanity or good behavior. As for your God comment I’ll chalk that up to arrogance and ignorance and move on. If you want to stir the pot on all things American, maybe you should stop believing everything the news media says and really come check it out. FYI : common sense would tell you with the population of the USA verses Canada’s we are doomed to have a few more disturbed people by shear numbers alone.

      • Brenda J. M says:

        My “God” comment has nothing to do with arrogance nor ignorance….that my dear is where you have entirely MISSED the point and have NO IDEA of MY background. Shame on you. MY point there is, when there is a tragedy as this absolutely is on EVERY standpoint. shooters’ and victims alike; there is a mass tendency as has been noted to claim “evil” or “leaving it to God”, “your in my prayers”, or asking “God” why? If you (the general you and NOT you in particular) did more reading, and perhaps thinking instead of passing the buck and burying heads in the sand, you would realize that (if you do believe in a God) – that same said God gave us the ability to THINK, REASON, MANIPULATE (good or bad) and to take adequate action. We have for the larger sense become more sophisticated since the creation of the (new) testament stories by people such as Paul and others and then the bastardization of such stories by the Catholic Church…in the name of saving our souls some thousand odd years ago, by not telling people the “whole truth”, then going about changing (where did the souls of purgatory go), what about the gospels of Phillip and the Magdalene who was NOT a PROSTITUTE in the meaning of today’s word. (in biblical times and in ancient Hebrew language, that word has a totally different meaning)
        One only needs to move forward and use the God-given brain and talents to realize that truth. There ends the lesson.
        As to weapons…YES, one can be substituted for another (boy that’s an easy figure)….. BUT will not have the same MASS affect as the shooting rapidity and aim of a gun in the hands of someone trained to use it, or someone intent on doing this type of harm. (claiming incidence of China’s tragedy with the knife would make a nice kicker, but is irrelevant as a one off – this has not been done before there or repeatedly in the USA.) . What does your common sense tell you about the population of China vs the USA ? They dont experience the same gun issues on a repeated basis do they? Insert NO here as an answer.

        Yes, Good behavior is legislated….that’s what a LAW is. A law defines the behavior expectation of the society it is applied to. Good social behavior is REASONABLE PEOPLE, not defending the need to OWN A GUN. But maybe you do own a gun and perhaps that is your reason for being so defensive towards them. I cant understand that, nor wish to.
        Your not able to see the other side of your own argument, which is quite hypocritical throughout….but I leave that for you to ponder; you see, I know I have made you angry and that is a good thing – perhaps that will lead to more discussion with your peers and those discussions may well lead you (shall I say it)….into the light ! :)

        I do wish you and yours and all of my family and pals living on the other side of the imaginary line between our countries a VERY SAFE and LOVELY CHRISTMAS. DO take CARE of each other.

  5. how many more decades before we take away the shame of mental disorders and illnesses and DO SOMETHING for those who are ill as well as the others affected (killed, hurt, maimed) their illnesses ? We will do just about anything in our power to help someone with a fracture, diabetes, hypertension, cancer etc but anything mental and we will cover it up with any other sort of rule or regulation rather than face the truth.

  6. No, guns don’t jump up and shoot people, people with guns that are too easily available kill people and children!!! I am so sick of the ‘guns don’t kill, people do’ argument. A person with a mass murderous intent could not maim and kill so many in minutes with a knife or a machete or a baseball bat. The fact is that someone brandishing a gun barely has to move to fire off deadly multiple shots, and bullets from guns are designed to create maximum damage and death. Why does anyone need a gun anyway, an easy-to-use mass slaughter killing machine, unless they are in law enforcement or fighting a war?

    Now this is my opinion and I mean to express it respectfully to you. Feelings are running high and so many are feeling disgusted, heartbroken, and grief stricken at the latest gun atrocity.. I cannot begin to imagine what those bereaved parents are going through or the families of those brave women helpless to save their precious charges, who all died in a hail of bullets from weapons brought from home.