Thirteen years ago, I sat transfixed in front of my TV screen while live video showed the Columbine High School massacre–just a few miles up the road. My children were in another school that day–in the same school district as Columbine, but a town or two over.
My children came home that day–shaken, but intact.
Today, I once again sit in front of a screen–this time I’m several thousand miles away and it’s my computer screen–as I watch more streaming video of the Century 16 movie theater carnage. This time in Aurora, CO. Again, a few miles down the highway from where my children and their families are beginning their day. Once again, my children and grandchildren are safe. For now.
Peripheral violence has danced around me all too much. Followers of this blog know that Jeremy and I left the Lakeside community of Ajijic when the Mexican drug cartels infiltrated, bringing their signature blood baths along. We wanted to be in a place that–although couldn’t offer any guarantees of safety–at least had a higher probability that we’d live to see our great-granchildren.
Now I fear more for the future that they will have more so than the one that Jeremy and I face.
Isn’t it ironic that our friends and family are concerned so much about our safety because we “live in Mexico?” Yet, in my former home state, people (and so many of them young people) are periodically massacred. In school…at a pizza parlor…in a movie theater. It makes me want to call my kids and say “Get on a plane. Right now. I don’t care how much it costs. Come here where I can closet you in my home and know that you are safe. We’ll order take-out and watch Netflix. Every day…for the rest of our lives”
Clearly, going out for pizza and a movie is much too dangerous.
But I can’t do that. Because–motherly instincts aside–it’s nuts. If fear controls our lives, then what have we?
So I think positive thoughts and tell myself that “what will be, will be” and there’s not a whole lot I can do to change the course of the future. And my heart bleeds yet again for my neighbors who have lost loved ones and for those who are clinging to life after the shooting.
And I am grateful that my children are once again safe from harm. I know this because they’ve all posted on Facebook in the last 24 hours–sparing me the effort of having to make what has been come to be known in our family as ” the not-dead check-in call.”
But I can’t help but wonder. What lesson is it that we’re supposed to be learning that we’re just not getting?
Filed under: Mexico