I’m sure most of you may have heard about the massacre at Westroads Mall here yesterday. While it made the national news, and was all over the local channels all day and evening, it’s still hard to wrap my mind around it. Too close to home. It’s ten minutes from my house. I was just down the street at a doctor’s appointment less than an hour before it all happened. Michael works around the corner from the mall and his office was locked down until they confirmed the shooter had killed himself. I love(d) shopping at Von Maur, but haven’t been there in a few months (hello, shoes!). I doubt I’ll ever be able to go there again without being on edge and thinking about the nine bodies that lay on the second and third floors all afternoon and evening yesterday. I imagine myself and Reese there – what would I have done? Would I have been able to run with a stroller and a toddler at 36 weeks pregnant? Would I have been an easy target? Would I have been on the second (shoes) or third (baby) floor when the shooter opened fire?……..
The details are horrific. And so sad. It happened while a lot of people were doing holiday shopping, many over their lunch hour. Michael will sometimes go over to the mall for lunch – I am so thankful he made a tuna sandwich to take with him yesterday. A friend from church was working there at the time at a coffee kiosk just down the hall from Von Maur (I’m sure she thought of her husband & three adorable little girls) – and another friend’s father working at another kiosk further down. I wonder how all those employees will be able to go back to work? It will be hard to ignore the obvious. I think of the nine families – including the shooter’s and all the witnesses (including children!) – for whom holiday season will never be the same. I know I shouldn’t be surprised that it happened here over anywhere else, but it’s strange to see these broadcasts from my hometown on the national news. A silence seems to drape the city as we wait for snow this morning.