I want to write a post thanking all my fabulous donors who contributed to the Truck Safety Coaltion today during the Giving Tuesday campaign. That’s what I thought I’d be writing about tonight, because you were all truly amazing.
But just before 1 p.m. today, Giving Tuesday, five days after Thanksgiving, only weeks before Christmas our county became another statistic. There was a school shooting here, in a high school a couple of towns over. While we were talking about trucks and death and injury and funding, while we were congratulating each other on moving toward fundraising goals, a 15 year old was shooting classmates and a teacher.
There are three dead students so far, 8 more people injured, several are critical. A fourteen year old girl is on a ventiltor.
Oxford is a small, tight knit community. They are all in shock, as are the rest of us in this county. Just like truck crashes you never think it will happen to you or your family or your community. Until it does.
Tonight, after a full day of fundraising and an afternoon moving from disbelief and incredulity to sad acceptance, I went to my community band rehearsal — our Christmas concert is next Tuesday night. It seemed a lot to process.
The truck crash stories I’d heard today bounced around in my head, ping ponging against the sights of ambulances and medical helicopters and running students and crying parents that I’d seen on television, offset by comforting music played distractedly by folks that are parents and grandparents and high school students themselves.
So many emotions converging, it’s all a jumbled mess inside my brain. So the thank you post I planned to write will have to wait.
Tonight on my way home from rehearsal I thought about the three families who’s children didn’t come home from school today. Who will never come home again. And I thought about the families who’s children are fighting for their lives in the hospital. I thought about how the actions of one person can irreparably damage an entire community, a whole county. A family. How Christmas, and Thanksgiving too, will never be the same in Oxford.
And how Christmas music will forever bring up wells of grief for so many, just as it did in our family for so many years.
If you believe in the power of prayer, please send some this way. Because it feels like crazy has converged here, in a small town, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the holiday season.