After writing yesterday's post, I realized I should probably ask the guy I wrote so much about if he minded that I used his real name and if I could post a picture. I sent him a link to the post and here is some of what Greg had to say:
"That was a horrible day fifteen years ago. For years I
had flashbacks to the moment the shooter in his black trench coat,
holding a shotgun, looked me squarely in the face. I still cringe every
time I see a trench coat. I remember banging on the locked door at the
band hall, seeking a place of refuge. Then in a terrorizing moment of
panic, as the door opened, I thought there might be someone else on the
other side with a gun. Thankfully, it was a fellow band member and good
friend. The band hall was crowded with other students and some of the
wounded as well. Memories from that day are very patchy. I think we had a
memorial in the gym a few days after the shooting. I do remember
feeling relief when I saw you later that week; I was happy to see that
you were physically ok. I was also scared to return to school after the
shooting. I don’t remember what you told me, but you helped me feel like
it was safe to return to school.
I probably never said it, but
thank you. Thank you for your teaching, thank you for your
encouragement, and thank you for being a friend."
(You should be humming the Golden Girls theme song to yourself right now after reading those last six words).
That day was so awful that I don't often allow myself to 'go there' like I did as I wrote yesterday's post. All day today, more memories have been coming up about not just that day but the back story about the shooter, his family, his friends, the community. I don't feel much like writing about it. If you're interested, it can all be googled.
It's in the past. I'm content to leave it there and know that those of us who walked away from that day can let it be a reminder to be present as often as we can.
|The caption to this photo on fb was something about his job being done: he had just made his best friend cry right before her wedding. I admit that the photo of him sitting on a bathtub next to the crying bride had me tearing up a little. What a guy.|