Monday, April 20, 2009

10 Years...


It was 10 years ago today that my community changed.  The day was so horrifying, it can't be described, and doesn't need to be - it has been written about endlessly.  

I was 14 years sober.  I was still in school.  I was working for my current employer, but I hadn't yet moved into management.  I sat down to eat lunch at my desk and checked the news on the internet, as I usually do.  I saw the headline on the national news.  Another school shooting, but this one only a couple of miles away.  Oh Dear, a co-worker, sitting in the next room had two kids at that school!  I didn't want to tell her what was going on, but I had to.  She flew out of there, car keys in her hand....

People set up television sets for parents to see what was going on.  There were so many parents of kids at that school.  It was dreadful to watch them.  It was glorious to hear them say they got a call - their kid was OK.   No one at work lost a kid that day.  

That day, on the highway I take each day to get home from work, I could see evidence of something very weird going on.  On an overpass, I could look and see television trucks and vans for as far as the eye could see.  It was eerie.  

In my AA group there were parents of kids.  There was a man who lost his niece.  There was so much pain and anger.

10 years later, this community is still not the same.  Maybe it never was what it seemed.  

Lives were ruined that day.  I don't just mean the kids and their parents and teachers.  It was like a cancer that spread through the community.  There was so much blame.  It seemed to creep out like a pool of blood that just keeps growing and tainting everything it touched.  

Someone I loved was a public figure and embroiled in the aftermath.  I think it ruined his life.  I really do.  He is now deceased.  So many of those people are.

Morbid, yes.  But that is my experience of it.  

We get to really experience things when we are sober.  Fully alive sober human beings.  We feel things.  We remember things.  

And I thank God that I can feel.  
(probably will post something a bit more cheerful in the morning...)

11 comments:

Steve E. said...

Oh, what a cheerful posting!- wait, I was reading another blog...

Yes, Mary, the whole country was glued to their TV sets that day, It was like, well, everyone was examining our own school systems, our own neighborhoods.

Bottom line is the same as sobriety. If some one wants to drink OR shoot children, OR take hostages, there is no power on earth which is going to stop them.

Recovery Road London said...

A brave and feeling post. We watched it over here (UK) with a sense of horror and aprayer our schools don't go that way. Too late. We have our own youth challenges, despite zero tolerance of firearms in the UK.

Thinking of you. Have a good day....and I hope you get to feel fsome good sober stuff today, instead of 'bad' sober stuff.

Syd said...

I remember reading that and a few years ago I was right at the play ground next to the school. I felt as if a number of ghosts were around me. I was there for an event being held and someone told me that the teachers and kids ran to that playground to get away. It was a strange feeling.

Pam said...

Thank you for your insight Mary. I had not even thought about what kind of "blame game" must have been going on.

raino said...

that was a very very sad day indeed.

Scott W said...

Steve E, not funny.

There was a school shooting in W Paducah and my nephew had friends that were in that lobby during the shooting. It does change lives. Those tragedies seem so senseless. It changes communities. We have to, somehow, find our way through it.

Banana Girl said...

MC, It was a sad day. We had just moved from Colorado back to Texas and I was glued to the TV all morning through the entire day. I will never forget the boy hanging from the window who suddenly dropped like a baby bird unable to fly. I saw him on TV last night. He told his story about relearning to walk. He was told he couldn't. He did. We felt we couldn't get sober. We did. There is victory in every moment, if we choose to see it. We pray for courage and strength but do not want to deal with the events we are given to foster courage and strength. And then, sometimes, we are given the events which we can no longer avoid or evade. Columbine was one. Sobriety is another. Thank you for your touching post. It left me full. J.

Trailboss said...

I can honestly relate to your feelings. We had a school shooting in west Paducah in 1999 also. My son's girlfriend at the time went to the school where the shooting took place. Micheal Carneal shot at a prayer circle killing 3 and wounding many. My son's girlfriend would have normally been in that circle but she was late that day. I found out she was ok then flew to Ryan's school (which was in lockdown but I got in)to tell him that Olivia was ok. It was horrible. A girl I went to school with and know lost a daughter, her only child. There is so much sadness caused by these shootings. I just don't get it. Only God does.

Ed G. said...

Mary - thank you for your post.

I also spent a good part of yesterday in reflection on Columbine and was personally touched by the changes you mentioned. I also know and witnessed many of the changes you've mentioned and personally grieve for the times "before".

I remain sad for the lessons that I wish we'd never had to learn.

One Drunk to Another said...

Thanks for posting, MC.

Mike Golch said...

A lot of things changed that day,some for the better some not so.school security was inproved,but not perfect.case in point what happed here in Cleveland at a school called Success Tech.a kid brought a gun in and shot several people before killing himself.

I have to agree with Steve E's bottom line.