On Feb. 12, 2007 there was a shooting at a mall called Trolley Square in Salt Lake City.
I was three months away from getting married, I had lived in Salt Lake for almost one year and Columbine had happened 8 years before.
I was at my future in-law’s home with my fiance and we were watching a show on TV which was soon interrupted by Breaking News of the shooting.
I was 23 years old and had gone through so much healing.
I was finally happy in a healthy relationship. I was about to get married. I had a good job with people I loved being around. I was making new friends and getting to know my new city.
But something about Trolley Square brought it all back to the surface.
I couldn’t go to work for a couple of days because I couldn’t leave my bedroom. My future husband, AJ, had to “call in” for me because I was too emotional to talk to my boss.
Aurora is not far from Littleton. It happened in a movie theater- a movie theater! I go to movies. I go to movie theaters. Columbine had happened 13 years before.
I spent hours talking to my husband about it. How could this happen?
Those poor children and their parents. It made me reevaluate my own experience and look at it through a parent’s eye.
It was the first time I stopped to realize what my own parents went through on April 20th 1999.
It was the first time in a long time that I realized just because I was there- I wasn’t the only one traumatized.
On Valentine’s Day 2018 there was another school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
And this one has struck something inside of me that makes me so fired up. Fired about wanting something better for my children. For all children. I don’t know what the answer is.
Their stories are too similar to mine and it brings it the surface.
It makes me anxious and I literally can’t “X” out of them fast enough. And it’s not because I don’t care. I do , so much. But I can’t go to that place too often because it is hard to get out of.
It reminds me of doing the same to those who died at Columbine.
But that is one thing I force myself to do because they deserve it. I won’t let their names be forgotten or swept under the rug with all the other information and talk of the shooter.
Every once in a while there will be a shooting that hits close to home or that effects me in a way I didn’t allow the others to.
This road is not easy. It is hard.
It plain sucks to be brought back to something that happened almost 20 years ago so often with every shooting that takes place.
So instead of spreading more hate and fear and being argumentative I want to focus on the things that matter most.
My heart is tired of being broken but I know with the broken pieces wonderful things can be put back together.