How Our Family Is Responding To The Most Recent School Shooting
OK, so I am all teared up over here. I just did something that broke my heart. I’m shaking.
Let me go back. The day before the latest school shooting in Florida we received our latest Battle Box. If you don’t know what that is, T gets one every month and each one is geared toward surviving an emergency situation. He has received them for everything from being lost in the woods for an extended period of time, to surviving a fire, to surviving exposure to radiation. This month’s box I didn’t share because when we opened it, I started crying. Not ugly crying but the really hot tears that burn before they fall. The quiet kind that comes from hurting with your heart.
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Inside was a box they had prepared in response to the Las Vegas mass shooting scenario. Let me repeat – it was a box to ensure that we would be prepared to survive a mass shooting scenario! The idea of T being in the middle of that setting just shredded me. That’s not to say that every box doesn’t leave you a little unnerved but nuclear fallout or getting lost in the woods were scenarios I was prepared for as a child. A mass shooting scenario never entered any of my childhood nightmares. We never had drills for that in my school. It was not even thought of. These days, not only do our kids have to worry, but now they have to be prepared for one.
It hit me hard. So at first, I just closed it. But after I thought about it I realized that while I could not stand the idea of any of us being in that setting, it would be even worse to come upon a scene like that and be unable to help. It is better to be prepared. And while I would like to stick my head in the sand and pretend we don’t live in a world where this kit may be needed, I know better. We all know better. None of us are safe. The movies, the mall, the park, the schools, and on and on and on.
So I opened the box and I learned all about each item in that box. I packed the trauma shears and the sterile gauze into the tourniquet holder. I learned which color triage marker I would need to stick to a patient depending if they were critical, stable, had minor injuries or God forbid I ever need to set one of those to blue for deceased. I made sure the gloves were tucked inside their case. I googled how to apply the HALO Seals to the entrance and exit wounds left by a bullet or knife wound and I took the stretcher out to make sure I had a feel for it. Just in case.
I hope and pray that these will never leave their box! But the only thing I can think of worse than being somehow involved in a mass shooting scenario is being involved in one and unable to help. Unprepared to try to save the lives of the innocent.
So today I did two things. First I finally took the box outside and put it in my trunk. My hands were shaking again as I tucked it in next to my other emergency kit which has water, jumper cables, a mini medical kit with band-aids and such, and a can of Fix A Flat. I noticed the stark differences. It made it all too real.
Second, I signed up for CPR and First Aid Training. A class that is titled Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED. Taking the one that includes pediatric will prepare me to help students like those we just lost as well as adults. I took EMT training in college but that was a long time ago. I don’t feel confident anymore. I’m going to take care of that. I wish I didn’t feel the need.
To find a class for you and your family members to attend you can visit American Red Cross here:
Also, If you are interested in getting on board with Battle box, you can find them here. This is not an affiliate link. I am simply recommending it.
I want to also send this prayer out to the families and friends of the loved ones lost as well as every student, parent, teacher, and emergency responder that had to endure that day and will now surely be haunted by it forever. And also to those students who just saw it on tv and had to wonder, will my school be next? Am I safe? Are my friends safe?
If you would like, you can pray with me.
I am calling to you to lift up each person that is hurting as a result of this useless waste of precious human life. I am lifting each one up to you, and asking that they may, each and everyone, know and feel your presence close to them. I ask that you surround each one of these, Your Children, in your great love and bless them with your peace. The kind of peace that surpasses any understanding, because that is the only kind that can get through now. I ask that you lend them your strength as they are forced to live in a world that will inevitably move on while their own corner remains frozen in terror of all that they now know and feel. They are changed now. Only you can heal them. They have experienced the worst evil in this fallen world. They are in so much pain, Father. I cannot even begin to fathom it. I pray you heal each broken heart and fill each lonely moment with the power of your love. Each and everyone, Father. I pray that you will help them to put one foot in front of the other and not to become buried under the weight of this. I don’t know how that can be done, but I know and trust that you already have a plan for each of them. I ask that you will lead, guide, and direct them and help them to find a purpose, a mission to empower them to change the world in their own way, to make it a better place because I know that there is strength in that. And I know that their efforts can be a beautiful way to honor the fallen. And I know they need to stay busy while they heal. I want to thank you, Father, that when these innocent lives were stolen that you were there to take them home. That this is not, “Goodbye,” but instead, “Until we meet again.” I pray you will gently remind each of the survivors that you have their children and they are safe with you. And that it is not over, they will be face to face again. And I ask Father that you help us all to see the solution. To see the answer to how to stop this evil. I pray that our eyes become wide open to the right way to stop these tragedies and that we are able to make the changes we need to make to see our world a safer and more loving place, as you designed it to be. I know that we desperately need you back in school and we need character development as much as mathematics and community service as much as basketball. And I know there is much more we need to be offering our children. I am inviting you into this situation and asking you to lead us toward the answer. Thank you for hearing us when we pray and coming when we call! Show us the way, Father. We are listening.
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