I'm short on words tonight. There was another school shooting today, this time in an elementary school. Twenty children, six adults, and the shooter are dead. The shooter's mother, who taught at the school, was found dead at home. It's horrible - the president cried at his press conference, and the CNN people still look and sound stunned.
I've been texting with Jen. She was saying that, because of our different experience, we'd see it from different perspectives. And I realized something important - and probably obvious to you - about me. In any disaster, I always identify ovewhelmingly with the responders. In this case, the first responders were a volunteer fire department.
I've always done that, haven't I? Besides the nursing experience, I've had Red Cross Disaster training and am also certified by the county and Homeland Security for disaster response. I find myself feeling so much for the responders and wishing I could be there to help. The nurses in New Orleans hospitals that were giving each other IV fluids to survive and stacking bodies in stairwells - I wanted to be there. It's what I do, what I've done, and I want to shoulder the load with those responders. Not-there guilt must be akin to survivor's guilt. I sit here, warm and safe, with my dog, while those responders have worked this disaster since 9:30 this morning.
Well, that's a lot of talking for being short on words. You know this part of me and love me anyway. Or maybe, just a little bit, because of it. And you did benefit from my training a time or two, didn't you?
There were other things I was going to talk to you about tonight, but all of that will wait. Please pray for the living and the dead. And pray for the responders - they will carry these images for the rest of their lives.
Love you so much,