Three weeks ago I was walking a student out to her Mom’s car, when the Mom came up the side walk telling me he had heard gunfire. I went into crisis mode and brought them inside, sat them down while securing my dogs in the spare room, and locking both doors. I told them we’d just wait until it seemed safe, while texting my husband to see if he knew of what was going on. He didn’t, but a few minutes later, when the fire truck went by with the siren going, we knew, whatever it was, it was over. They don’t run the sirens until after events have finished.
We didn’t really speak of it again. The situation was at once better and worse than what we thought. Better, because no one died or was seriously injured. Worse, because of who they were and that they tried to commit suicide by cop.
Today, the girl came again for a lesson, but this time her Mom didn’t bring her. The Dad, a Master Sargent, walked her up to my door. As I greeted her and had her come in, he stopped me to say, “Thank you. Thank you for taking care of my family during that incident. It was scary. So thank you.”
And now I’m sitting here, realizing, it’s okay to admit that it was scary. It’s okay to acknowledge that I was terrified, because people shouldn’t be shooting guns four doors down from mine. It’s okay to realize that until I spoke to B that I was sick over what that could mean for him. It’s alright to accept that later, much later, when B was still at work and there was a knock on our door, and it was a uniformed officer, that my heart stopped. Even though I knew he was okay, seeing our friend standing there, having him pull me in for a hug, it terrified me beyond belief.
There are answers that I will probably never know. I’m really not okay with that. I’m trying to process exactly what happened and I really want to know the why. It’s made me hug everyone a bit closer and tell them I love them a bit louder. Today though, I was given the gift of it being okay to have been scared, and that helps.