Tragedy Hits Too Close to Home

Barbara Vey -- August 6th, 2012
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

By now you probably all have heard about the senseless shooting at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI.  This was only a few blocks from the Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon in April.  Everyone is reeling here.  These kind of things do not happen in my area.  How many times have you said that?

 

I grew up in a time when kids ran around the neighborhood playing outside until dark when our parents would start yelling for us to come in.  Even then we wanted to stay out in summer because dusk meant you could start playing Red Light, Green Light, I hope to see a ghost tonight!  I know it was a simpler time (at least it is when you’re a kid).

 

We had our share of scares though.  I was in high school during the race riots and remember running to the neighborhood  store to stock up on food and discover the shelves bare and people grabbing everything not nailed down.  We had to stay in the house and watch the events play out on tv, but even that pales in comparison to what I feel now.  Total terror.

 

The recent shootings in Colorado scared me enough that when I finally gave in to friends to go to the movie theater to see Dark Knight Rises, I couldn’t enjoy the movie.  Every time I saw someone move I had to look at them.  I was distracted and yes, frightened.  I don’t want to feel that way.  I don’t want to stop taking my grandchildren out in public because I’m afraid some idiot with guns and an incomprehensible agenda will be lying in wait.

 

I’m glad I’m home for the next month so I can hopefully calm down a little and try to put things in perspective, but how can you when something this horrific happens in your own backyard?  Is it any wonder that I’d rather lock my doors and curl up with only my books for company?

 

I will try to be more diligent and aware when I finally do go out.  I want to visit my grandchildren, but am now thinking twice about taking a trip at this time.  I love to fly, but loath going to the airport.  I love to be around people, but now I find myself being more wary.

 

I have no answers, only a lot of questions.  I wish it wouldn’t have happened here, but then I wish it wouldn’t happen anywhere.  My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the Sikh community.

 

How do you cope with all that is going on?

 

Bottom Line:  “Nothing good ever comes of violence.” ~ Martin Luther

48 thoughts on “Tragedy Hits Too Close to Home

  1. Sharon Sala

    You’re doing what you need to do, which is regroup. It’s a combination of shock, disgust, and sadness that you’re going through now, and like everything in life, you need to go through it to get over it.

    We here in Oklahoma still look twice at Ryder Rental trucks and big loads of fertilizer when we see them, but I try not to think of what evil men can do with ordinary things.

    What happened is a tragedy. It won’t be forgotten and those impacted most will never forget it. But I hope that in the days to come, your community grows stronger and comes together in shared tragedy. It’s what happened here.

    Thinking of you,
    Sharon

    1. Barbara Vey Post author

      The community is already coming together. There’s been a huge outpouring of support for the Sikh community. I just talked to my pastor and he is writing a letter to the Sikh church on our behalf. Plans are being made to take our youth group to the Sikh church for a service to learn more about other religions. With education and knowledge we can try to trump ignorance and hatred.

  2. Shari

    One always thinks ‘not in my backyard’ but then it happens. Tragic, senseless, surreal. We’ll have to cope over coffee. You can’t let the bad guys win.

  3. Hope Ramsay

    Barbara, I am so sorry that this horrible thing happened so close to your home town. Take care of yourself and be as positive as you can. I live in DC and after some very harrowing experiences on 9-11 it took me months to find balance. But, you know, one thing that helped me more than anything else was reading books with happy endings, where communities pulled together and people look after one another. So take care of yourself. Know that we have you and your community in our prayers. And finally, find a comfy couch, or a nice hammock somewhere and read a good book.

  4. Naomi

    My friends call my outlook “casual fatalism”. What will happen will happen.

    I believe in preparing, but at the end of the day I can’t let things out of my control steal the chance to live. I can only do what I can do. I refuse to let them win by living in fear.

    I might be nervous the first couple of times out, but in the end our returning to normal and reaching out to the ones targeted by hate is the best way I know to handle it.

    Wishing you all the best. I know my simplistic answer oversimplifies things and makes it seem like an easy route, but it’s a matter of choice. Peace be to you as you find your path through this. *hugs from Paul and I*

  5. RevDeb

    There is indeed evil in the world. Sometimes we feel saturated with it. But evil does not, will not overcome the goodness of the world. “The LIGHT shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. ”
    We live in hope and extending embracing arms to brothers and sisters , known and unknown, and stand firm upon that which we believe to be good, and true and faithful.

  6. Ramona Richards

    Barbara, you are in my prayers. Great advice above, and I admire your pastor’s response, which is spot on. Sometimes, a deep breath and a refusal to let evil cower us is the best response. I got on a plane just a few days after they started flying again in Sept. 2001. The plane was almost empty, but I felt I HAD to go. Hugs to you now and always.

  7. Kira Sinclair

    Barbara, you and the entire community are in my prayers.

    Your pastor is right in that information, community and understanding are the only things that can combat this kind of senseless and ignorant tragedy. The thing that consoles me the most is a belief that the good people in the world far outweigh the evil. We can’t always account for every possibility, but when the unthinkable does occur there are countless hands there to pick us up.

    Hugs and prayers,

    Kira

  8. Marie Tuahrt

    Barbara, hang in there. You and the entire community are in my thoughts and prayers. I’m glad to see your pastor understands with knowledge comes understanding.

    Staying home and re-grouping is what you need right now. It’s very hard when tragedies like this happen. All we can do is be aware when we are not in our homes.

    Sending big hugs and prayers.

    Marie

  9. Pingback: The World Needs a Happy - Edie Ramer

    1. Susan in AZ

      Edie,

      What would your girl from Cattitude do? I picture her going to the temple, kicking butts and taking names. SHE would then go into the big city and shop for a frivolous blouse, just because she could.

  10. Stephanie Scott

    It’s interesting how trauma can revisit — going to the theatre after hearing about the shootings (I haven’t seen Batman yet and wonder if somewhere back in my mind I’m a little afraid to see the movie after the shooting). I worked in a high rise in downtown Chicago for a year with no issues, but the day that rehearsals started for an air show, where jets flew low over the shoreline of Lake Michigan, I started freaking out — this was only 2 years after Sept. 11, 2001. I’m glad I no longer work in a high rise, but those threats crop up in other ways. You’re right that we need to regroup and not stop living our lives.

  11. Kitti

    This is why it’s called “terrorism”.

    I urge you, don’t give into fear. It’s so easy to control fearful people…be strong and bold, even if it makes you tremble. Think of your favorite book hero, and be like her.

    <3

  12. Susan in AZ

    Barbara,

    I know what you’re going through. Last week, one of the Batman copycats tried to bring several guns into the Movie theater just down the road (2 miles). Yikes! Fortunately, they caught him before he could do any damage.
    Last year, our Congresswoman was shot. She will never be the same.
    Neither will our small town.

    Susan

  13. Susan

    Barbara,
    It is tough but if we let the bad people of the world take away our happiness then they win. Be careful but don’t give in to the fear. Hug your grandchildren and trust that they will make the world a better place. Thoughts and prayers with everyone in your area.

  14. Dianna Love

    I so feel for you and everyone in the area of the shooting. It’s hard to imagine these things happening in the quiet little place I visited last year. I remember thinking how much I enjoyed everyone I met there and that it will take time to heal from this. It’s great that your community is already pulling together to help each other and show that there is way more love than hate. That’s what community is all about.

  15. Mary

    This is harsh, but your narcicistic post really hit a nerve.
    I would remind you that you live in one of the skinhead capitals of the US in the most segregated city in the country, under the guidance of a governor who has slashed mental health care, opposes weapons legislation, and gutted education.

    There is no more “not HERE!”. Every day, everywhere, everyone forever if ths country continues on this insane zenophobic path.
    Now, climb out of your hazelnut wallow and DO something!

  16. Lisa Kessler

    Sending prayers and good thoughts your way Barbara!

    It’s very scary when things happen close to our homes where we like to think we’re safe.

    But if you hide and live in fear, the evil wins. You’re stronger than that…

    Hang in there Barbara!

    *HUGS*

    Lisa

  17. Jessica Aspen

    I’m in Colorado, and I had to turn off a lot of the news. I just couldn’t watch. Columbine is still fresh in our memories. But we cope. There seems to be a rash of very sick people doing crazy things and if I let them stop me from living my life, they’ve won. And I refuse to do that.

    Overall we run more risk of getting hit by a car in our own street than experiencing firsthand something like this. I hang on to my stats, swallow my fear and go.

    I hope you keep traveling. I was at RomCon and heard your speech and it brought tears to all our eyes. You are a survivor, and a thriver. And you give me courage.

  18. Barbara Vey Post author

    Thanks everyone for your kind words of encouragement. I guess I was in shock, but reality has returned and I’m out and about. That means libraries and book stores today. Next month I’ll be attending the American Fiction Christian Writers Conference in Dallas.

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