Cue the song by Pink Floyd, Is there anybody out there? This is how I feel. If you know the song, bless your dark little rebel heart. I remember feeling afraid hearing that song play in my dad’s truck when I was young. It no longer frightens me. I get it now. I am with them.
I feel hopeless sitting down to write this blog. For multiple reasons I have been at war with myself on what I should, or if I should, post my thoughts as of late. There are multiple contributing factors to my hesitation. On one hand, I feel compelled to talk about things that are uncomfortable & don’t inspire warm fuzzy feelings, on the other hand, I feel like obeying my instincts to write this controversial material means talking about things people don’t want to pay attention to rendering my time & efforts void. Alas, here I am, staying true to my instincts & true to the rebel voice inside me. *She flashes me an approving grin & I nod in agreement with her*
So let’s get to it, I’ll try to make this interesting & organized. I just wanted to share a few things that happened in our world this week.
Friday I share an article to Facebook about a young girl named Bailey Holt, she was gunned down in her Kentucky high school along with 16 of her classmates. As I shared the article to my Facebook page, I added my own caption to the post, I referenced a moment I shared with Kenna that morning.
My words on the Facebook post were this: “This had me wrecked as the father recalled kissing her goodbye that morning. Just this morning I kissed Kenna & told her to have the best of all the best days. Today she hopped out & walked toward the entrance of her public school, she turned around to see if I’d pulled away yet & waved as we locked eyes. Some days she doesn’t turn back. Every single day the teachers hurry us parents along to keep the line moving. Those days when she turns back & I’m still there are my favorite & my heart breaks to think of the days she’s turns back & I’m gone.”
I shared my words in relation to the link for the purpose of communicating my disgust at the response to this Facebook post. Wouldn’t you believe, a gun-toting Texan commented straight away on the link. Her words? “Yeah, all I hear is get rid of guns.” So, after my sharing an intimate moment with my own child in relation to a father recounting a similar experience with his daughter the day she would be murdered in her public school, with that, this girl only was able to hear “get rid of guns?” That was her first thoughts on the post? You’ve got to be completely daft lacking any shred of compassion to have that as your initial thought. I do advocate for reform on our gun laws in the US, but this post… I didn’t even mention it! She went on to argue to the defense of the current process of purchasing and owning weapons in the state of Texas. I proved her wrong with facts and reason to which she responded with criticism on the journalism for the article. I was beside myself.
Moving on from this encounter, it is Tuesday morning now & I am dropping my daughter off at her public school. Driving to her school we are sharing our usual small talk for the short ride from home to school. We arrive several minutes early beating the hasty teachers to their posts. My daughter climbed into the front seat & laid her head on my shoulder. After a few moments of silent love she picked up her tiny head & handed me a pencil eraser from her pack. She said, “Here mommy, keep this right here and then when I get out of school today give it back to me.” With that, she placed it on my center console. As my precious five-year old was sharing an innocent, trustworthy, & generous moment with me, my mind was racing as I remembered the article I read a handful of days prior, the one of Bailey’s dad recalling the average morning he had dropping his daughter off at school not knowing it would be the last. With this remembrance the tears began to fall. It was as if a horrific movie plot was unfolding in my mind. I had an eery feeling. I am watching my child get out of my vehicle to go into her public school with the hopes that no one decides to go on a shooting spree, with hopes that for today it is not my Child’s school. I could just see it happening in my mind, me having to stare at that pencil eraser for days/months/years after losing a child, me having to live with the thoughts that she entrusted it to me with a deep certainty that she would see me at the end of her day. I am violently bothered by my dark thoughts, further disturbed that I have found myself burdened with intrusive thoughts such as these more regularly. Thoughts about how I might go on if my life surpasses my daughters! She didn’t see me cry, thankfully I was able to avoid plaguing her day with my own worried behavior.
I had a dream just last night, it was bizarre. I am not a gun owner, nor do I have a desire to be. In my dream I was unpacking a package I received in the mail, in the package would be several boxes. They were bullets in bulk. The dream was very brief, just me rummaging through these boxes. Must have been a dozen boxes of different sized bullets. There wasn’t a gun in my dream, just the bullets. I remember feeling afraid. I remember feeling out of control & as if the bullets independent from the gun were already a symbol of pain & grief. I remember how I felt holding those boxes. I felt complicit.
Here we are today, Thursday, I am editing this post & news of a new shooting at a Los Angeles high school breaks. The article said the school day would continue as usual after several victims were rushed to the hospital. I cannot believe my eyes. School shootings are happening within the United States at such a devastating rate they continue on business as usual? NO ONE IS LISTENING. The christians are so busy pushing a counterproductive anti-abortion agenda but offer only silent prayers for these victims families. The president took the stage in the State of The Union address on Tuesday and claimed responsibility for the safest America yet & then again he took to the podium this morning to celebrate the safety of America. This country’s leaders are driving us further into the belly of violence & are doing it with pride.
Sir, Mr. president, you are out of your mind. You have bred a violent America. This is Trump’s America. I am worried.