If I could wear a sling today, to carry my heavy heart, I would. There have been so many tragic things happening so close to us, I had to physically restrain myself from blocking the door to keep everyone home. Seattle has had a horrible run of violence, and it feels like we've been in the middle of it.
No, we have been in the middle of it.
It's nothing compared to people who have really lost loved ones, of course. But it's still real.
A 17-year-old young woman, killed by her boyfriend just blocks from our high school. She had classes with our son.
A young man, killed when he fell 11 stories from his residence hall on the UW campus, our son's residence hall.
A horrible shooting, killing 4 in the U district, 12 blocks from our son's dorm. The man killed again while stealing a car to get away. The car was found in the community where I work.
And a tragic end when the shooter ended his life as the police closed in 1 mile from our church, where I'd walked a block to my car an hour earlier. Cast a small radius from his location, and you'd touch dozens of loved ones.
What can you do? How do we move forward with compassion? Nothing makes sense.
Today was an early morning in my home. Everyone was up and half were gone by 6:30. Right then, when my son was about ready to leave for the day, I turned around and screamed and screamed, running from the room, because an uninvited visitor was in my kitchen.
A juvenile sparrow.
He'd hopped through the open slider, and I think he was standing behind me calling loudly for some time. I'd turned to close the door--so he didn't come in. Too late! I screamed more and grabbed the dog. My poor son, a trained black belt, who is always ready to defend the helpless, came running.
The poor little fellow fled from the insane screaming monster, and was hiding in the bathroom. My dear, wilderness-loving son gently covered him with his sweatshirt, carried him outside and held him up high--opening his hands, releasing. The bird flew away into the rain.
What do I do? How do I move forward?
I think this is the answer, we take care of what's in front of us. We care for the helpless and vulnerable. We make granola. We slow down a little and we just...well we just go on.
The little bird is perched in our yard, now, calling and calling. Like he's asking for food.
"Are you my mother? Oh, you are not my mother, you are a snort!"