Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.



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.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

19 thoughts on “Convergence

  1. My heart weeps with your community 😦


  2. Sending you a long, comforting **hug** Dawn. I am so sorry to hear about this senseless loss of life. I will keep your community in my prayers. Give Katie some extra pats and hugs.

    I loved the picture of you holding Katie on your Thanksgiving post! That is a keeper! For some reason I thought Katie was much bigger. Her larger than life personality and her high rank of princess probably colored my perception.

    Do you know if your Christmas concert will be recorded this year? I enjoyed the last time you were able to share a link of the performance.

    Sending you another hug…


    • I expect it probably will be recorded. I’m not real optimistic that it will be a wonderful concert, we’ve been apart for almost 2 years, and hand a handful or rehearsals together, we won’t be able to have a rehearsal on the actual stage, so the sound will be different. BUT…it’s upbeat fun music, which might be good for us to play and others to listen to. If it’s something that I can share I will! Thank you for the compliment! And the hugs.


  3. If only our contributions could visibly prevent any tragedies!

    Sent from my iPad



  4. It gives so much pain 🙏


  5. So very, very sorry! Another day of grief at another school because of another shooting. Both tragic and senseless and all too common in this country.


  6. I thought of you when I saw this on the news last night. How does a 15-year old get his hands on a semi-automatic gun? This is becoming way too, horribly, common. My heart breaks…


  7. I clicked the “like” button, but not because I liked your topic. All I can think is when will it ever end? Any of this? What is wrong with our society? Why do we feel the need to react with violence? Why do we feel the need to have semi-automatic weapons? Why?! All I can do is cry and send you virtual hugs.


  8. A similar thing happened in my family a great many years ago with a 20-year-old shooting her father. Some of us thought that maybe he deserved it, but the pain and the sorrow … oh my, it’s still with all of us. What we learned was that the 20-year-old was not an adult, was never allowed to make decisions or be an adult, was verbally and emotionally hammered and criticized and terrorized and physically abused until there simply was no choice left in her brain. So, yes, we can only imagine the unimaginable pain of the parents of the children who died in your town. AND my heart also goes out to that 15 year old who must not have realized there were other options. My family will never be the same, but that girl/woman in our family had been treated so badly that her actions didn’t truly surprise us. To us, the question is … how can we help kids who are in those situations? We didn’t help the girl in our family, even though a good number of us knew there were problems. Maybe my thoughts aren’t very popular, maybe most people are angry and want to punish or kill the 15 year old … but we have to find a way to help those kids who need help. Just like we have to find a way to change trucking laws. My heart is with you Dawn. Love and hugs.


    • Thank you Ann. It’s all very confusing right now, only 2 days out. There appears that there was some sort of problem with the shooter, as he and his parents met with school authorities that morning. I put most of the blame on the parents. There doesn’t appear to be any record of him being bullied. But you are right, there was obviously a mental health issue going on with him of some sort that wasn’t addressed. We have a dozen schools closed this morning in our county because of other threats.

      I’m very sorry about the incident in your family. I agree she probably felt she had no choice. Maybe she didn’t have a choice. I don’t know. I just know there are people hurting, way more people hurting than any of us realize. On both sides of the issue.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. These school shooting are so unacceptable. Mental health issues are so abundant. It breaks my heart.


  10. It’s tragic that this can and does happen anywhere. I’m sorry that the news caught you by surprise at a vulnerable time and by being so close to home. Like you, I’m thinking of the families, teachers and schoolchildren whose lives have been diverted from their course so cruelly.


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