It's probably not the best time for me to be writing. My head has been in a fog for days on end lately. It's not that I have anything profound to add to the stories circulating about the shooting that took place less than a mile from where I live. My thoughts are more with those who lost loved ones and those who were there, facing what will most likely be the worst moments of their lives, but writing might help me process what I'm experiencing. It feels really selfish to do so, but maybe if I get it out, I can stop my mind from spinning andsleep.
My mom broke her wrist on Thursday. Considering her advanced age and the severity of the fall, she is doing incredibly well. I'm taking care of her, but in her usual stubborn way, she still does quite a lot on her own. Still, I'm cooking her meals and helping her with the little things. Because I knew she had an appointment on Monday morning, I did the shopping I usually do on Monday afternoon after work on Sunday evening.
I have to admit that I'm much better at dealing with my own pain than I am seeing someone I care about in pain. Since my mom is 95, surgery wasn't an option, so, at her appointment, without any kind of anesthesia, the doctor manipulated her wrist into place before his assistant applied plaster for a cast. At one point, my mom yelped, but she tolerated the pain much better than I imagine most people would. Before we left, the doctor told us she could take Tylenol if she needed.
When we got home, it was almost 1 p.m. I fixed her lunch and could see she was uncomfortable, so I went to look for some Tylenol. I vaguely remembered tossing some out a few months ago and assumed we didn't have any, so I told my mom that I was going to put a few things away and go to the store despite her protests, saying she didn't need anything. Since I missed going to the bank the week before, I figured I would stop there before going to King Soopers. Shortly before 2 p.m., I started gathering my things and got ready to head out, but I really did not want to go. There was no way I was going to let my mom suffer, though, but before I left, for some reason, I decided to check the cupboard again to see if I could find any Tylenol. And there it was, a bottle tucked away on one of the lower shelves in the corner. When I pulled it out, I said, "I found it!" and triumphantly held it up to show my mom. She said, "I know you would have gone if you hadn't found it, so I'm so glad that you did."
About 30 minutes later, I turned on the television to see that there was an active shooter in the area, right where I would have been. We could hear the helicopters while watching the breaking news. I also got on Twitter because I knew Mitchell Byars would have the most up-to-date information. What I didn't expect to see was an update from the Roots Running Project stating that Maggie, one of their athletes, one whom I actually met at the King Soopers where she works in the pharmacy department, was safe but there. What a shock. I can't even imagine what she went through.
Throughout the next couple of hours, my heart felt broken. I haven't cried and can't seem to fully process all of it. I'm numb. When I went by the store today, all the memories from my childhood flooded me. That was our store. That was where all the kids went and hung out. It was a safe place. Now it's where 10 people were murdered in cold blood. How can anyone process this?
I can't even think straight. I'm not bothering to edit this. I mostly want to let people know that my heart and my thoughts are with everyone affected by this senseless act of violence. When I saw that the murderer was bullied as a kid, it made me angry. Nobody should be bullied and it seems to be a huge problem, especially in the United States. But jeez. Look at all the other people who were bullied or are mentally ill and don't go out and murder innocent people who were just going through their day. It is not an excuse. This guy had an assault rifle and planned this. He is a monster, not a victim.