At the time I am writing this it’s been a few minutes past one week since a dreadful thing happened in our local high school. Yes, I live in Benton, KY, Marshall County. Two of my grandchildren were in the school last week when the shooting happened. Let me tell you that we are well. Marshall County is healing. We are “Marshall Strong.”
The two children who were killed as a result of the shooting have been laid to rest. The parents are trying to have some normalcy in their life, but they’ll never have the normal life they had. For the rest of their life, they will wonder what it would be like if their child lived. I know. I ask that question often. The worse thing in your life is to bury your child.
This past two weeks have been a blur. My best friend, my mentor, my writing buddy, my confidant died two weeks ago today. That was such a loss. Sandra Robbins was a wonderful friend to all writers. She encouraged writers to do more than they thought they could. I’ve been struggling with that for the whole time. It’s hard to lose someone you have called every week and had long conversations. It’s hard to think of something to ask them and go to pick up the phone and realize they aren’t there anymore. But with faith in Christ, we’ll make it. He will make us all stronger.
Last Tuesday I was still mourning when I heard the ambulance siren. I was on my way to the shower and thought there was another fender-bender on the highway. When I stepped out of the shower my husband told me there had been a shooting at the high school. My first thoughts were my babies. I tried to text my daughter-in-law who works at an elementary school, but I was so nervous I typed gibberish. Then our son called to tell us the kids were okay. I thanked God for bringing my children through all this. Then we heard one teen had died on the spot.
These emergencies, things we never think would happen in our world, make us appreciate each other more. We’ve hugged each other more, spoke kind words to each other more, lingered and talked to each other more. We’ve learned to love each other more.
My heart goes out to the families who lost their children. These two had gone to school together in the same elementary school. The families received friends together. I know that brought comfort to them. I know they are still in a daze. They will survive if they want to. We all will survive if we want to.
I don’t want to be preachy, but I have a deep faith in God. There’s more to my story. On Wednesday, the day after the shooting, we lost a wonderful sister-in-law. She is missed greatly. She was eighty-seven, not fifteen. It’s easier to accept. Her life had been lived. Bailey and Preston had their life before them. I grieve for the loss of my dear friend, my wonderful loving sister-in-law, and all the children at Marshall County High School. We are Marshall Strong!