Last night, I went to the King Soopers grocery store that I frequent the most with my second oldest son, Christopher. I thought it was silly and impractical of me to avoid going out of fear from Monday’s incident, where 10 of my fellow Coloradoans where painfully murdered in a King Soopers at a nearby location. I had already skipped my morning routine several days in a row.
As we stood in the line at the self-service check out, I heard what sounded like an explosion –
and my heart stopped.
I felt like I was thinking in slow motion.
I considered the few items in my basket.
Contemplated whether I should leave my wallet.
Wondered if my son would be afraid.
Thought about whether it would be effective to grab his arm, or to let him run with me. Beside me. Behind me. Faster than me.
I wondered would we make it.
I wondered would we die.
Would we die inside? Outside? Would anyone else?
I turned around, as did the others near me who heard the sound…
…and saw a young man, who looked younger than my son.
He’d dropped his glass bottle of a carbonated beverage. It exploded and spilled onto the floor.
He had too many items in his hand – and no basket.
I felt a belabored and angst-laden sigh ease out of my lungs.
“I thought, maybe, it could have been a gun.” I said in my head.
And now, I keep hearing the “explosion…”
The terror that coursed through my veins in that instant was unlike any feeling I’ve ever felt in the grocery store before. I feared for my life and my son’s – and it seemed the anxiety after the fact felt even worse than the few seconds (that felt like hours) in between.
Immobilized several seconds later, I pushed myself to finish the task at hand and found myself walking out of the store far quicker than I had entered. I wanted to go home. To get away. With my son. Safely.
It occurred to me that I might still be traumatized by this week’s events because they are indeed so close to home.
Though the tragedy troubles me deeply in its entirety, I’m so grateful to have a safe space to write how I feel – and a community of writers who are both caring and of great literary caliber. As I attempted to process my thoughts from the comfort of my home, I came to the conclusion – in regards to those I care about, I will do more…
I will listen longer. I will laugh quicker. I will love better. I will fight harder. I will squeeze tighter. I will forgive faster. I will think bigger. I will shine brighter. I will dig deeper. I will move slower... So I can appreciate and celebrate and often embrace the ones I love. Because sometimes there's not a later. There's only a now.
Tonight’s scare reminded me that even the seemingly most insignificant moments are precious. In a literal heartbeat, they can all be taken away. In the photographs above, I’ve endeavored to share a few of the moments that have meant the most. I’ve already lost too many that I love – to forget that every second counts. May your heart be filled with the loves who have mattered most in your life. Blessings to you all.
#lifeisshort #iwilllovethemforever #makeeverymomentcount #lovetheoneswholoveyoumost #andlovetheoneswhovenotyetlearnedwhatloveis #bekindinanunkindworld #Hisloveisthebestloveofall #carlamichelle