Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I write this blog with a heavy heart this morning after reading more about the Virginia Tech shootings. Mary told me about it yesterday afternoon when she called as I normally don't turn the TV on until the evening news during the weekdays so I didn't know what had happened. I decided I didn't want to know more until Steve got home and I wasn't here alone. I remember how scared I was when Mary called the morning of 9/11 to ask me where Steve was, knowing I was going to say in his office, which was in the World Trade Center. The abject fear set in when she told me to turn the TV on and I saw the second plane hit. I thought I had lost yet another loved one and wasn't sure I could handle it. I don't think I breathed again until I found out Steve had missed his plane and was still in Houston - they turned his plane around on the tarmac.

As I watched the news last night I relived the hours I waited to find out if Mic was alive or not, knowing that the chances were slim. I know how the Virginia Tech students' parents felt as they tried to find out if their child was one of the dead or wounded. First it is raw fear, then we go into some type of auto pilot, at least I did. I found out a 2 a.m. that Mic was missing while hiking in New Zealand and I went in and taught my classes that day. It wasn't until I called New Zealand at 2 a.m. the next morning to ask if they had found Mic that I learned he had died in a fall and they had found his body. That was when I wished my body and mind could go on auto pilot like it had the day before. It did not. The parents of the students who died are in my prayers as are the students' siblings and everyone else who loves them. No parent should have to experience the pain of a child dying. The pain doesn't go away, the scar tissue on the heart just deadens the pain a bit and you learn to live again, but questioning why you are still alive and your child is not. And incidents like this tear off the scar tissue and the wound is raw and for me it is April 1998 again.

I am sorry I cannot write about the book I just finished reading yesterday morning, before Mary called. It is Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes, about a HS shooting where 10 are left dead and many more wounded. Too real to write about at the moment. Hold your kids close, no matter what their age.