Might Be In Over My Head…Maybe?

It started as any other day. It seemed normal. It seemed ordinary. It was 11am and I had been busy working on this and that. I had just closed my iPad, finished reviewing my plan for the day to see what was next and started to get up off the couch when my mother abruptly, with great urgency and fear, said, “San Bernardino County police are responding to an active shooter.”

“Where?”

“It doesn’t say. Joe?” She said as I was already reaching for my cellphone.

“I’m calling him now.” San Bernardino County line was a short 10 minute drive down the 210 freeway. My husband worked in San Bernardino County and was frequently on school campuses…often the target of active shooters. I didn’t know if he was in the office or on campuses. I cannot tell you the emotions that were flooding my mind and heart. Telling myself San Bernardino is huge. Don’t panic. He will answer. It was only three rings before I heard my husband’s voice. But it seemed like an eternity. (And as I write this I know how unbelievably blessed I am that he answered.)

As the news unfolded before us, I shuttered as I realized I had been on those streets. I had been past those buildings. I’d been there to see clients. I knew people that attended the center for help with their children. It was all too close to home…

I’m not one to get too political and I promise not to do so here. I generally try to avoid the news, though I keep informed, because its filled with tragedy and stories that drain my energy. I feel hard. I take it on. So I try to avoid exposure. But I do hear. My heart bled with our recent tragedies. I was in shock with the horrific Paris massacre and attacks. Last week’s plan parenting mass shooting. And the many, many, many, many…many more shootings this year. And the year before. And the year before that. And…

But this was too close to home. I flashed back to the hostage situation at Duke Medical Center. My mother had been in the building. Was in an office right above the man who had multiple hostages at gun point. It had been too close to home. But my family was safe this time. My beautiful Southern California was not. They had not been caught. They had not been found. They didn’t know if there was one or three. They didn’t act like typical active shooters. Where were they? Where were they going? As the reports trickled in, as social media gave tidbits, was this the beginning of something bigger?

This was too close to home…

Thoughts swirled in my head. Most active shooters are shot, shoot themselves or are caught on the scene and we are left to deal with the shattered pieces they left behind and questioning when is this going to stop. When are we going to declare war against this senseless violence becoming the new normal. But they were gone. They had been strategic. They had come in tactical gear and had fled. There was more than one. Possibly three.

Were they headed to do more damage? Was this a targeted attack? At this time of day, they could be anywhere. Hop a freeway. Were my aunt and uncle who live in San Bernardino or my cousin who works at a local Inland Empire university in the path of these shooters?

This was too close to home…

The details were not coming fast enough to feel safe. I was glued to my iPad…my TV…Facebook…Twitter…all desperately searched for more information. My friend’s desperate plea for prayers. Her husband was locked down in a building as police and swat and law enforcement swept the building as the gunmen’s location was not known.

This was too close to home…

Like many, I stayed glued to the news. I needed more information. I needed to know we were safe…as safe as we could be. I needed to know they had been caught. But I had to go out. My stepson text me that the shootout had started. One suspect was dead. One was in custody. Third unknown. I prayed. Regardless of why they did this, please don’t let them be Muslim. I feared our fear. Our Southern California had been attacked and it needed to rally around each other – not be torn apart by fear and hate.

The day continued to unfold with details here and there filtering in. Our house hung on every word, praying, pleading, begging to hear what had been on everyone’s mind…why?

I went to bed questions still unanswered. I went to bed with my sense of safety shaken once again. I went to bed sadden that yet again our country, our world had been interrupted with senseless violence. I went to bed grateful for my husband, grateful for my family. I went to bed praying for those who I did not know that were injured, for those that had lost their lives, and for our law enforcement.

I went to bed asking God why?

This was too close to home…

I never thought we were immune to the tragedies of the rest of the world. But it had never been so close… The morning brought nothing new. No new answers as to why?

My heart aches tonight as I write this. Our peace was shattered and we, as a city, as a county, as a state and as a nation, are still trying to figure out why? We have lost something so precious over the years…our innocence. And with each shooting, with each life lost, with each day’s peace shattered we lose a little bit more. Tonight I weep as I read and remember and pray for those that were victims of this senselessness. No matter what the motive is, in the end, the stone that was this shooting has already been thrown. Life as we know it will never be the same. Though the city may go back to a smooth glassy surface of everyday activities, this shooting has forever changed the fabric of our world.

This was too close to home…

Please join me in prayer and peaceful, loving thoughts for those injured, those who lost their lives – Isaac Amanios, Sierra Clayborn, Aurora Godoy, Robert Adams, Shannon Johnson, Tin Nguyen, Yvette Velasco, Juan Espinoza, Larry Kaufman, Michael Wetzel, Bennetta Bet-Badal, Damian Meins, Harry Bowman, Nicholas Thalasinos –  and all of those whose lives are irrevocably changed by the choice of two individuals to act in mass violence, including a now orphaned six month of baby girl.

Until next post…

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