For all of the personal information I share on here and, trust me, I have shared a LOT, I’ve not really specifically said where we live. I guess I do that out of a sence of security for the girls. (We could debate how secure that secret really is, but remember, I have a guard dog now to stop any would-be blog crazies out there. That Riley will lick you until you crumble, so just don’t even think about it…)
If you’ve read through my posts, though, you will know that I have said that I live in Northeast Ohio. And if you’ve picked up a newspaper or turned on the TV, you’ll know that Northeast Ohio has been the big story because of a cute little town of Chardon and the tragedy that happened at the High School there.
My girls don’t go to Chardon, but kids they know (and love) do. A woman with whom I am close has a son who goes to Auburn Career Center – the school that the three boys who died attended. Another friend lives next door to the young man who is still in the hospital. I could go on about the connections, but that’s not the point. As a Mom, it just all hit close to home. Too close.
Chardon is the type of town you’d move to if you liked “It’s a Wonderful Life” so much that you wanted to live in Bedford Falls. There are issues there, just like any other school in America, but not like this.
The local TV stations have (rightly) filled the air with photographs of the young men killed to memorialize them. There they are as babies and young adults. Fishing. Wrestling. Playing games with their siblings. Hugging their Moms.
Too close. Too tragic.
There are stories about the young man accused of the crime. The people who spoke of his Grandparents who stepped in to raise the three children when their daughter had issues. How she recently worked hard to become sober and was going back to reunite the family. How neighbors all spoke of being shocked that this happened. How no one saw it coming. How he didn’t target the boys he shot.
Too scary. Too random.
There have been strands of blessings that have come out of this tragedy. People who haven’t stepped into a church for years are going to prayer vigils. Lives have been saved because of organs donated. Students are coming together from neighboring schools to show support. Parents are hugging their kids harder and talking more about how they’re feeling or what they’re doing.
People are saying “I love you” more often.
I know I have – to the girls, to the Country Boy, to my family and friends.
This week has been difficult to find words to write. I didn’t want to be cute or trite when something so big just happened. I know I’ll get back to the antics of the dog, mules, kids, and Country Boy soon. Just not today.
Today, I only want to tell you what has been on my heart since Monday: