Friday, February 15, 2008

Tragedy –– Again. When will it stop?

I feel like it was just yesterday that I was sitting on my bed watching the horrific scene unfold before me at Virginia Tech. In fact, like today, Matt was traveling. This evening I sit once again on my bed, watching another horrific scene unfold before me –– a massive shooting at Northern Illinois University.

Ten years ago we loaded a moving truck and headed 8 hours away for our first jobs out of college –– in DeKalb, Illinois. This small town was our home for over 4 years. We have been on campus for training, football games, and just to hang out. We know people who work there. We know kids who now attend there. My follow storkie and blogger friend Tracey went to college there. I gave birth at the same hospital victims have been taken. A school and town that has typically not been very well known will now be the focus for so many around the country and even the world.

So far 6 are dead, at least 6 more are in critical condition, and at least 10 more are in serious or stable condition. These are just kids. "Almost adults" who were just sitting in class trying to get one day closer to graduation and their entrance into the real world. Lives that will forever be changed because the choice of one single person. Tonight 6 sets of parents have lost their beloved child. Others sit vigil by their child's bedside praying for God to heal them. Those who sat in that classroom will relive those few moments for years to come. While others will fear going to class and ask themselves "could it happen in my class next?" Valentine's Day will never be the same for those affected by this tragedy again.

I remember the feelings I have every time I hear of a school shooting. This time I sit and watch the coverage in what once was my town, a place that holds so many memories, and it shakes me even more.

This is the 4th school shooting this week. FOURTH. What is happening in this world? How have we become a society where kids go into schools and gundown other kids? Schools are supposed to be a safe zone. But are they? How am I supposed to send my middle school daughter to school tomorrow and not fear that she could be next?

Keep the families and victims of this shooting in your thoughts and prayers. And hugs your kids closer. You never know when in the blink of an eye it all can be taken away.

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