Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Birthdays and Tragedies.

Last week was my birthday. I got pretty presents. I got taken to lunch and dinner. I was cared for by people who love me.

But I have to admit, at one point I was having a private little pity party. I was feeling somewhat sad for my birthday and the fact that I was one year older. I have grey hair and wrinkles and an empty nest. Pitiful.

Then, life woke me up.

I got a text from my son in law. He and everyone in his store, including customers were locked in the staff break room. The mall was in lock down. There were shots being fired. People were killed. And the police were surrounding the mall searching for the shooter. My husband was on his way to the scene to do his job, reporting on news events and my son in law was trapped inside the mall. My family was in harm’s way. And there was not a thing I could do about it.

I was scared.

Then, I got another text. My son in law was safe. My husband’s voice was on the radio, live. The mall was evacuated. The shooter was found, dead. But, that afternoon, while I celebrated living another year, two people were killed and one wounded in a bizarre shooting at a mall 20 minutes from my home.

I was shocked.

What we didn’t know then, was that one of the two people killed was a man that my husband worked with for many years. He was a kind and well-loved man who will be greatly missed.

I am still sad.

I have avoided writing about this for a week now. I still can’t believe that there are people so crazy and evil that they would gun down innocent men, women and children. Senseless, evil things happen around me all the time. And this time, it happened in my own town. I don’t want to believe it.

I want to stop it. But I can’t. Any more than I can turn back the clock, change the past or the future. I can’t change birthdays or tragedies.

I can only be here. Now. In the present.


Patrick Gracewood said...

Susan, as artists and writers, part of our job description is to bear witness. We don't have to understand everything, we often can't understand a single event in this world. But we can try to see it as honestly as we can and be as vulnerable as possible to report back to others.. .

Susan Gallacher-Turner and Mike Turner said...

Thanks, Patrick.

Adding the terrible tragedy in Sandy Hook, my mind reels and my heart sighs in pain.