Wednesday, March 21, 2012



I’ve commented more than once.

How our lives can change with a single phone call.

(Or a single Facebook post, as it may be.)


And while I owe you the rest of the goofy stories from the past few weeks, I can’t ignore the impact of the past few days.


I stayed home Monday.  I joked about being mowed down by a horse, but in reality, being knocked airborne and pummeled into the ground twice… bruised more than just my pride.  It hurt even driving Itty Bit to school; I returned home and grabbed some anti-inflammatories.


I sat down for a  few minutes and  replied to a Facebook message.  And almost didn’t see the post from a church acquaintance before I closed the screen.




Suspect on the loose.


Running through neighborhoods.


Schools on lockdown.




And suddenly, I recognized the neighborhoods.  The school names.


You know that moment when you realize that you’re helpless?


When you are fighting to breathe past the weight on your chest and you just know that you are more than capable of injuring anyone who would put your child in danger?


But you can’t get there.  You just can’t get there fast enough.



They told parents to stay home.  Avoid bringing more traffic into the area.  No one in or out of the schools.


Multiply that “helpless” by tenfold when you cannot hear.  Cannot call someone.  Cannot listen for updates on the radio.  Cannot lipread live uncaptioned tv reports.


I tried.  I texted Mr. Daddy.  I left my mother a bawling my eyes out voice mail.  I frantically Googled news updates and begged for information from local Facebook friends.  I knew if I left the house, I would be out of touch to know what was happening.


Within minutes – Facebook friends calling the school for updates on my behalf.  Mr. Daddy confirming that all three pastors were in lockdown with the kindergarteners.  School in contact with the police.  My mom texting that she was on her way to the school.


They said they’d release him if she called from the parking lot.  There was concern about me picking him up because I couldn’t hear to be aware of my surroundings.


(And it is at that exact moment, when you worry that your child is in danger, that you would give anything to trade your stupid disability).


So thankful for a Mom like mine.  Thankful for the Grandma that she is. 


Thankful for the kindergartener sitting in a shopping cart a half hour later comparing Transformer cars.




I keep getting choked up when I touch his little head and think about just how, well… little he is.  And how absolutely irreplaceable he is.  I’m wiping tears from my eyes as I type this and am grateful for this Reset button to remind me to cherish our family and friends.



So in an early letter to you:


Thank you.


For reaching out to us.

For praying for us.

For praying for my son’s safety.

For making phone calls on my behalf.

For sending text messages and emails.


Thank you to the teachers and staff for herding those 5-year olds downstairs and convincing the kids that reading books with the lights out was an adventure.


Thank you to an amazing Mom who doesn’t hesitate.

Thank you to my Heavenly Father who protected the boy I love.


Thank you to the police who are still looking for the shooter.


And I’m sorry.  To the family who lost a young man and to the other two still recovering.  Praying that you will find God right where you are at.


And to the shooter?  Well, I have a horse I’d like you to meet…






tattytiara said...

Oh what a horrible experience for a parent to go through. I'm so happy to hear he's okay and that you were surrounded by the support you needed.

Pam Bowers said...

Now you went and made me bawl! I'm glad your close friends were there to step up to the plate. I'm sure you felt helpless and frustrated. Yay for moms!!!

Candance said...

Just the lockdown drills scare me half to death. I can't imagine actually going through one with my babies-the ones I birthed or the ones I teach-and my babies are in high school (the ones I teach and one I birthed). Sounds like the teachers did an amazing job keeping those babies calm and like you have some amazing friends and family looking out for you and your little dude.

Tamar SB said...

Oh my word, what a way to stop a mama's heart!! Hope you're all hanging in there.

Diane said...

There is no worse feeling in the world than that of suspecting your child is in danger. None.

So glad your story had a happy ending for you. And my heart and prayers go out to those whose endings were not so happy.

Liz {Learning To Juggle} said...

I am sitting at work crying right now - I cannot imagine the fear you felt in those moments. You have an amazing group of family and friends (not that you need me to tell you that).

Kmama said...

I'm so glad everything turned out okay. I really hope they find the shooter.

Liz Mays said...

I am so glad that he's ok and everyone you love is safe. I could feel your terror in how you wrote this. I hope they catch that shooter.

Bethany said...

Oh, Rachel. I'm so glad that you are so well loved. It's always a blessing to have friends and family that are a support system.

Praying for peace for you all.

Stacy said...

Oh Rachel, I had tears in my eyes reading that. I know I would have been so scared for my kids, too. At least there were many caring people taking care of him. (((hugs)))

robin said...

How awful! Glad he was ok and I hope everything turns out well. So glad your mom was able to get him!!!

We had a similar kind of scare last week. Some guy shot four people, killing an elderly lady in front of our courthouse and then ran into a business nearby. One of his victims was his adult daughter who he shot twice and then ran over twice. That whole area was on lockdown as well. Knowing my brother works a couple blocks away, I was worried. His stupid cellphone wasn't answering (being charged, totally out of the ordinary) and for 20 minutes until I found out he was ok, I was panicking! We were on the way out of town and I kept checking FB statuses too to find out what was happening.

I hate that there are people in the world that do these kinds of things! A five year old should not have to worry about scary things while he is in kindergarten!!

Discovery School at First Baptist Heath said...

what a hoorible place this earth is sometimes... SO glad you have such great support.. so thankful that Itty Bitty and classmates are safe.. and now I have to go wipe my eyes

Krulls in Haiti said...

That is so so scary! What a Grandma! I love how much love is in your family, you are blessed.

Shana Putnam said...

I wasn't home that day and didn't get home till Itty Bit was already home and I was in shock going back and reading what had happened. I am so sorry you guys had to go through that and so happy all is well. I do hope they find the shooter and pray for the victims.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is much worse than knowing that your child could be in danger and not being able to do anything about it. I came in on the tail end of the FB messages and was just so glad to see people stepping up and making those calls for you. Thankful that it turned out well, at least for you. And I hope you're feeling better, too. Horses are BIG.. it's sort of like colliding with a Mack truck. Love you, girlie...

Emmy said...

Oh my stomach gets in knots just reading this! I cannot even imagine. I am so glad your son was safe. So horrible when tragedies like this occur

Susan said...

We never think that our own neighborhood or schools will be the one in danger from someone who has lost control of reason, and yet, there isn't a place anymore that it couldn't happen. I can tell you right now that your mom was as terrified as you that someone might harm Itty Bit. We grandmas are every bit as protectively ferocious as moms! That you had the common sense to put the word out that you needed communication because you couldn't get it the way others do is testimony to your resourcefulness, despite the disability. I'm so glad things ended happily for you, and what I know about Kindergartners is that they are blissfully unaware of what real dangers exist in the world because they don't have that kind of experience yet. So Transformer cars are an easy distraction from a crazy day. It's just too bad we can't protect our children from ever knowing the bad stuff. The truth is that we have to teach them to recognize danger because the world isn't all peace and promise....and it may not ever be. A shame. Thankfully, the world is populated in great measure by people who love and want to protect all children, not just their own. I hope that the shooter is caught so everyone can relax again and so that justice is served for the family that this tragedy was aimed at. I'll keep them in prayer.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jesus and all your holy angels for taking care of my Angel-boy and all his friends - we are grateful to You, God, & we love you as much as our feeble hearts are able...

Amy said...

gave me chills reading this. Going through it with you on Facebook was gut wrenching enough.... reading it just brought me to tears! Ugh, sobbing and can't stop.

We have a great God! Praising Him for the love He has shown you!

stephanie said...

bless your heart- how awful. I can't imagine your terror. I am so glad everything urned out well!

Unknown said...

I started praying the minute I saw it on facebook. SO glad Itty Bit is ok, and that your nerves are calm now.

NaomiG said...

Oh, my goodness! I'm so glad everything ended up ok for you... thinking of and praying for those who it didn't end up ok for.

It's so terrifying to be so helpless to protect our little ones--especially with a disability. I've a little experience with this too, although not the extreme that you do. It's a comfort to know that God loves them EVEN MORE than we do. I hold this truth close to my heart. :-)

Allenspark Lodge said...

Hang in there, girl! Itty Bit probably already has some self-defense techniques down, and I'm sure his shooting lessons will start soon.
Love you guys.

Kameron said...

That is so scary! I got goosebumps even reading that! I'm glad everyone is safe and sound.

Oh and can I mention that Itty looks EXACTLY like you! It might be the face he is making, but seriously! So cute!

Foursons said...

I am so late in commenting. I blame work....

Anyways, I'm glad Itty Bit is safe and sound and hopefully all is well in your world again. I hate that our children have to grow up in a world where violent people are allowed to walk the streets.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Rachel ... gosh I love you! I was sitting here (nearly in tears) leaning in towards the screen (even though I know the end of the story) anxious for the next word ... and then you go and make me laugh! You are AMAZING!

Floortime Lite Mama said...

thank goodness he is okay

Anonymous said...

oh my. i got goosebumps reading this! love that picture of him. that precious little guy, well the preciousness just oozes (that's a good thing) and I'm so glad he's safe too.

Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too said...

Oh my goodness, that's terrifying! Thank God he's okay!
I hope you're feeling better, too.

Jess said...

Unreal. The kind of thing that should never ever happen and then it happens right where it never should. So glad to hear Itty is safe!

Furry Bottoms said...

I didn't read this before, I don't think. First time. And this happened before the Newton shootings. In retrospect, it is very scary. I've got goosebumps thinking of what COULD have happened. Thank for for the people you have in your life that will jump up and do anything to help you be a parent in situations you're stuck in because of the stupid disability. Its at times like that when you realize the world may be a hard place, but it is made so much easier with friends who understand and love you.

SO GLAD Itty Bitty is OK.

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