Last night I went on a road trip with my sister and brother in law to pick up my nieces from my brother's house. It was a spur of the moment decision to go and spend 3+ hours in the car just for the joy of spending an hour or two with my family. I hugged two month old, Brinn, spent most of the night with 4 year old Siri in my lap or my arms or hanging on me in some way, joked around with 6 (almost 7!) year old Lyle, and danced with 4 (almost 5!) year old Allie and 7 year old Maddy. Cutest kids in the world.
On the way home, my mind was occupied with little things. My nieces and nephew are always devising ways to marry me off, and talking about wanting more cousins. My brother in law had heard about this new dating site, Geek to Geek, and he and my sister were encouraging me to give it a shot, despite my less than stellar attitude towards online dating. So I went home, filled out the info, and looked through tons of profiles of guys that just weren't "quite right." I am extremely picky and unwilling to settle. Despairingly, I texted my sister that this was stupid and would never work, and she reminded me that I didn't have to find a bunch of guys, just one. I went to sleep praying for that one guy, or for continued peace in my single status.
I woke up to the horrific news of a shooting at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado. A man dressed in riot gear came into the theater, threw tear gas, and started shooting about 30 minutes into the movie. At least 12-14 are reported dead already, and over 50 wounded, including a child as young as 6 years old. This is why I don't watch the news. Normally I can absorb terrible news like this, think about how sad it is, and move on with my day. Today I cannot. Waiting for a client this morning, I looked up some of the news stories, and I was actually grateful that the client did not show, since they would have found me in my office with tears streaming down my face. What kind of world do we live in where someone would even CONSIDER such an act of violence, let alone carry it out? This was clearly premediated, and took plenty of planning. At any point did this guy consider what this would mean for himself, his family, his victims, or the millions of others who are surely at the very least emotionally affected by this? And did he hope for that? Hope to go down in history as SOMETHING, even a villain?
I can't answer the why. I wish I could. I work with terrible situations daily, with people who make choices that don't seem to make sense. That won't turn out well for anyone involved. And I still have no answers. I have no insight. Just a sad, hollow pit in my stomach.
I keep thinking of the victims. Those who probably planned for months for this movie, who were SO EXCITED to finally be there. There is a unique atmosphere to midnight screenings of movies, almost addictive, a palpable excitement that stays with you. I'm sure there were also those who hadn't been sure of their decision, who were thinking of being so tired at work the next day, who came for their friends or simply for the experience, to say they had. So many different reasons to gather.
What now? Will those victims be able to attend a midnight showing again? Go to a movie theater at all? Watch that movie without reliving the horror? Some will, some will not. I wish I had the answers. I wish there was an easy answer to smooth things over, to take away the pain of such a senseless act.
Last night I was focused on two different things. One was family. I almost didn't go with to my brother's house. I almost decided that sitting at home in front of my computer, watching old episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark? was more important than precious moments with my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephew. I think I made the right choice to go. I created special memories. But this also puts some things in perspective. Why waste so much time thinking about what I DON'T have? Why spend time worrying about what life will be like if I never get married? It will be as wonderful as it is now. I am so blessed. It could all end tomorrow.
What are you focused on? Is it adding to your life, or just contributing to your habit of existing?
Life is too short.