It's easy to imagine you or someone you know could have been a victim, considering how common and public the places where most tragedies have struck took place. Shopping malls, movies theaters, schools, etc.
Yesterday morning while I was getting ready for the day, Matt called up to me from downstairs, "My dad left me a voice mail saying there was a shooting at Bobby's job." (Bobby is Matt's older brother, and only sibling.)
Matt's parents had talked to his brother, we knew he was okay, and the rest of the day felt a bit surreal and strange.
I saw endless updates online and on the news, wondering what could drive someone to do such a thing. I ached for those who lost their lives, and I feared how differently the scenario could have played out for my family.
Bobby was on the first floor in the building while the shooting took place. The gunman started shooting on the third floor down into the cafeteria (the building is open like an atrium) and then worked his way up to the fourth floor and shot more people. Someone pulled the fire alarm, and people started to evacuated.
I'm unsure if my brother in law knew about the shooting before he fled the building due to the fire alarm (I don't think he did) but the next Matt talked to him he said they were all on lock down and SWAT teams were surrounding the buildings.
Eventually that evening Bobby made it home after his soon to be bride, Stephanie, (they're getting married October 13th) picked him up at a designated area for family members to greet loved one's.
It was fate and luck on our side that my husband didn't lose a brother, my in laws didn't lose a son and my daughter didn't lose an uncle (her favorite one at that), and I am so grateful.
My heart is with all the loved one's of those who lost a family member. I wish there were more words I could offer on that. I wish I could say something uplifting and meaningful but I know I can't. Just know my heart is with you.
Bobby and Stephanie embracing once being reunited (Steph's dad, Harry, is in the background). Pictures via The Washington Post.