This time in my own back yard.
Nine people were shot and killed yesterday. Two more are critical. A kid. A kid with an assault rifle opened fire on shoppers and employees and then killed himself.
In a metro area of half a million people you'd think this wouldn't spider web and attach itself to me or mine. But less than a day later and without knowing the names of any of the victims, I'm finding out what a small town Omaha is.
My cousin and one of my co-workers had been in the store right before the shootings. On Monday, my daughter and I were just blocks away at another store in a nearby mall. We could see Von Maur from the parking lot. Yesterday, my daughter was filling in a shift in a different store branch, ironically because a manager was recovering from the trauma of a robbery, at a mall just miles away from the shootings. She returned to her home store -- to safety -- just a half hour before the shooting began. My daughter hasn't been asked to work at Westroads -- yet -- but the store is just five bays away from Von Maur. Thinking of what-ifs makes my head spin.
I offered my prayers and sympathies to the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings just a few months ago.
Today, I offer them to my neighbors.
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.