Weekend Open Thread

Update: Early Saturday evening, we headed to a lovely outdoor mall to do a little quiet shopping, and maybe get my makeup applied at a MAC counter before DH’s birthday dinner at our favorite restaurant. We went to Macy’s, where the MAC counter was booked, so we wandered next door to Victoria’s Secret. Then people started running into the store in a panic, and suddenly an employee was ordering everyone to the back of the store. Someone was shooting, we were told, near Macy’s. Here is the story. We were locked down for 45 minutes. I have never felt more vulnerable. We were all just staring at each other in disbelief and terror. A young teenaged girl cried in her mother’s arms the whole time. No one was hurt, but this guy fired 50 shots before he was stopped. He was firing in the very parking lot we were parked in. As we walked to our car, police cars were still streaming in and a bomb squad appeared to search his trunk. I am sickened, I am outraged, I am saddened. But most of all, I am so glad our kids weren’t with us. That would have been a whole other level of terror. 

It was hard to leave our kids for our long-planned weekend away to celebrate DH’s birthday. We have cried together, raged together, and pledged to try and not sweat the small stuff. We also know we will be extra eager to get home to our babies on Sunday.

My heart and prayers are with every last grief-stricken family. I can’t even find words to express my despair and anger. I only pray this will be a turning point for our country. We can’t go on like this, can we?

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24 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. I’m trying to remember something LiturgyGeek told us once (I think it was when BB’s friend’s baby- Gabriel- past away?) about faith and God and tragedy. I wrote it down but now I can’t seem to find it. It was along the lines of God not making things happen, but that God was about trying to just be with us in the grief, to help us get through it.

    I want to respond to those jerks who keep posting that this wouldn’t have happened if God were allowed in schools.

    • So the argument is that God decided the victims deserved to be shot, or perhaps were unworthy of protection because they failed to pray in the classroom? Interesting theological point. But I’m skeptical that it was the students’ piety that was behind this tragedy. I’m thinking maybe the guy who walked into the school with the guns may have been a bigger concern. Maybe someone – God, his pastor, the mental health system – should have focused on him?

    • So, I’m happy to repost my general thoughts on this. Basically, and maybe this is heretical to some, but I just don’t believe in an all-powerful God. The notion that God CAN prevent tragedies like this but chooses not to is just revolting to me.

      That being said, I do believe that God is MORE powerful than anything else in the world. So even if God can’t prevent horrors and tragedies, God is present in the midst of them and in their aftermath. God is present in our grief and sorrow, and God is able to draw good out of even the worst evil.

      I also think it’s highly inappropriate to say that to people in the midst of their sorrow. Only with the blessing of time and comfort are people able to see and to say, “This was awful, and I know God didn’t want or will it to happen, but I can also see that much good has come out of my time of suffering, and I can see how God was present in the midst of all of that.” That doesn’t mean that people say, “So in the end, I’m glad it happened,” but it does allow them to draw good from evil and to see God’s presence in the midst of our suffering.

      (God’s power of consolation is underrated, I’m sorry to say. Though on balance, I’m sure we’d all be happy to trade some of the consolation for fewer of these tragedies. Haven’t thought this one through, but since I guess we don’t get to choose between the proportions of these…..)

      To say nothing of the fact that any decent person who believes in God KNOWS that God IS allowed, and indeed is very present, in schools. (How is it that God is both powerful enough to stop a tragedy like this, but weak enough to be banned by some secular court order banning government employees from advocating or advancing a particular religious perspective???? Idiots. “Bless their hearts.”)

  2. A friend’s childhood friend lost a daughter in the shooting yesterday. She posted her picture today – beautiful kindergartner named Charlotte. My heart just breaks as I look at her beautiful innocent smile. She had a brother who survived. I just keep thinking of my kids and how in so many ways this could have been them. I still haven’t brought myself to talk to them about this. I know we have to – Mira especially will hear about it and she needs to hear from us first. But I just want to stay in a bubble, hold them close, and wish that this had never happened. Could never happen again. My love and prayers to all those who lost loved ones yesterday. My love and prayers to all the families who are trying to help their children who survived this horror yesterday. And my love and prayers to everyone as we mourn.

    In the meantime, I’m about to start a letter campaign against McDonald’s… I went with Isaac and one of his buddies after swim lessons today. They had CNN on. I asked them if they could change the channel and they said no. Someone actually said the kids would see this anyways so it might as well be on. The part that really ticks me off – I know they put it on sports when our college team is playing. So that’s ok to change but this isn’t? Everyone eating in had elementary age kids. Totally ridiculous. I just went and turned off the TV in our section so no one would see it. But I am still so angry. I just can’t believe some people.

    • That’s likely a problem with the local management but if you notify corporate they would probably lay down the law. Not sure exactly how that works with local franchises but I would think that since they brand themselves as kid and family friendly, it would get a response.

      • Yep – two TVs, one for each larger seating area. They’re usually on the news. But I’m almost positive they’ve been on sports before. Here’s the letter I sent to our local paper… In retrospect, I should have changed “sucks”… oh well… (I did cut the direct reference to the store based on the policy of letters to the community vs. complaint about a specific issue. But I sent in a complaint specific to the store.)

        As I read and watched the news about the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting yesterday, I couldn’t stop the knot from forming in my stomach and the fear from forming in my head and the sadness from enveloping my heart. I dropped my third grader and kindergartner off at their Ann Arbor elementary school yesterday morning at a drive that looked just like that school. I just wish I could hold my kids – all kids – in my arms and protect them from everything. And it sucks when something happens that just throws in your face that you simply can’t. My love and prayers to the Sandy Hook Elementary community.

        My husband and I spoke with our children about this event today. We had this conversation on OUR terms in a way that we felt was best for our children – hearing about it from US, in our home, with details we felt were appropriate for them, providing them with an opportunity to ask questions.

        We have not had the news on at home. We have very purposefully avoided this. This aligns with guidance from many experts in this area: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/12/14/167269582/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-the-conn-shooting?utm_source=science&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=20121214. “‘The key thing is limiting their exposure to news media, TV,’ says Dr. Daniel Fagbuyi, medical director for disaster preparedness and emergency management at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. ‘We’ve found this over and over in different disasters.’”

        I would like to bring this to the attention of the numerous restaurants, gyms, and other family spaces that have TVs. Please, provide parents the opportunity to manage these conversations with their children and change the channels off the news for the next few days. I was out for lunch at a local fast food restaurant earlier today and the TV was on CNN. The whole up-front seating area was filled with families with elementary aged children. I asked if they would please change the channel. I was told no by the four employees at the front. As I turned back to my seat, someone said, “The kids will see this anyways, may as well leave it on.” I turned off the TV in my area and I left as soon as my son finished eating. I hope that this place and other public places carefully consider what they are showing on their TVs and what is truly family-friendly. Let’s protect our children as much as we can. And avoid the over-exposure to these events so that our kids can also mourn in their own ways and own spaces.

  3. Oh my goodness Erika, I am so sorry! I heard about it but didn’t realize you were there. I’m so glad you are safe!

    This is all too much! Sandy Hook, Clackamas, Newport, Indiana and Oklahoma all in less than a week.

    It needs to end.

    • What happened in Indiana and Oklahoma? I’ve been locked in a theatre all weekend and have no idea what’s going on in the world. Erika, i’m so sorry you had to go through this and am so glad you’re safe.

    • Of course I hesitate to say there’s anything like a silver lining to any of these horrible episodes. However, I think we are seeing movement in the Senate that might not have otherwise taken place in our lifetimes. Who knows, maybe Di Fi’s bill would have passed but I think it would have left both sides bloody and the legislation weak.

    • DH and I got separated during the rush to the back of the store, but were reunited in the back hallway which was lined with emergency exits. We all stood around, unsure whether to flee and if so, which way to go. I just felt like a sitting duck. Eventually they herded us back into the store and locked all the doors, and that’s where we remained until we got an all-clear.

      Later on DH told me very seriously that should this ever happen again, he wants me to stay right by his side, so he can throw his body over mine if necessary :-(

      • My DH would have fah-reaked if we got split up in your situation and I can’t even imagine how he would have reacted if DS was with us. He freaks when I work late, in a locked building. He definitely would have lost his shit, esp since he also has claustrophobia. Man.

        I’m sure there were people in that mall who were triggered, be it PTSD, claustrophobia, what have you. And that’s in the lucky situation in which no one was harmed.

        I’m just so glad it ended well for you two. xoxo

      • Oh goodness. So glad it turned out ok, but how very scary. Very sorry and sad that you had to go through it, and that anyone has to go through things like this.

  4. May our Lord JESUSCHRIST continue,blessing you,with his mercy,love and peace;i’m so sorry that happen,what is going on in this country,ive already sent letter and call the white house,but i couldnt get through,we need to do something,first 20
    elementary school kids now this,my friends and i we want to collect signatures or maybe do a protest in front of the white house,we want our children and families to be safe;they need to change this second amendment, and do as Japan, they dont aloud any one,to buy,carry a firearm..I posted a picture on facebook of the 27 yr old teacher of sandy hook elementary school in newton connecticut.her name was: Victoria Soto, she hid her first graders in closets and cabinets,and told the shooter they were in the gym.He killed her and not one of her children were harmed,GOD BLESS Victoria, she is a true hero.

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