The Usual Morning Routine
I woke up, ate breakfast, and watched some TV…because it was just another Wednesday.
I opened my laptop, checked email, checked Facebook…because it was just another Wednesday.
I started doing some paperwork coming due for Epilepsy Education Everywhere…because it was just another Wednesday.
My boyfriend slept in late. He had worked overtime and it was his day off…because it was just another Wednesday.
He woke up, we kissed, and he started checking his messages…because it was just another Wednesday.
He told me I’d missed a shooting in San Bernardino, but I thought he’d meant a shooting on Tuesday. I’d just been in San Bernardino on Tuesday for the Give Big San Bernardino event in conjunction with Giving Tuesday. Minutes later, I learned he was talking about the active shooter at the Inland Regional Center.
It was no longer just another Wednesday.
Active Shooter at the Inland Regional Center
Life was suddenly turned upside down as Frank showed me the video on his phone. Besides knowing people who work at the IRC, I co-chair a monthly meeting in their conference room, and have had many a meeting in the coffee room next door.
I immediately emailed those I knew at the IRC–well, those whose emails I had. I knew they couldn’t respond, at least not right away, but I still had to send it. I emailed others who might hear from them. I called my parents to let them know we were ok.
Then, it started…the emails, phone calls, text messages, and Facebook messages…coming in from around the community and the country. Calls from friends, family, business colleagues, customers with questions and concerns. Was I ok? Were Frank and I ok? Was I at IRC that day? Did I have any news about who was injured?
I was pacing. I couldn’t concentrate. A few hours later, I caught up with the calls and callbacks.
I could remember two other times I felt this helpless–9/11 and the Flood of ’97 in Fort Collins, CO. I had to do something. Frank and I decided to do a simple project–cleaning and organizing the DVDs–to keep us busy.
Of course, it was no longer just another Wednesday.
The Breaking News
Every couple of hours we’d break and check the latest news online. A couple times we caught a press conference live.
The news came out that they had killed Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, but a third gunman had escaped and that area was on lockdown. Pictures of the car all shot up were plastered all over the news. The neighborhood looked familiar, and then they gave the street names. A friend’s family lives less than 1/2 block from the shooting. I texted them right away…but didn’t hear back for hours.
Names of the victims weren’t being released. I eventually started searching the media for names, but some people I only knew by their first name. I found one name and then another in stories of how family members were reunited. Two were ok, my friend’s family was ok, but there were still others I hadn’t heard anything about.
I was worried, but I was also a little bit relieved. Starting to hear folks were ok, at least physically, raised my hopes that others were ok. No matter what, people’s lives had changed significantly.
This was no longer just another Wednesday.