My view of the world through words & photos
You never think that a movie night will end with a trip to the hospital or the morgue. Yet, that’s exactly what happened to dozens of people in Aurora, Colorado, who went to experience the first showing of the latest Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Disbelief. Shock. Fear. Confusion.
These are some of the words I’ve been hearing over and over as I’ve listened to the various interviews on news reports over the last few days. Whether they were injured or not, everyone has commented on how suddenly their life was changed by the actions of one person. They had simply planned on seeing a movie and going home after a fun evening. In a small town in Colorado, I’m sure safety and security were topics that never came up while they were making their evening plans. For most of them, those two issues will forever be part of their planning as they try to recover. My heart aches for those parents who lost children. My prayers are said for all of those involved in the shooting.
Both of my kids went to the movies with friends on Saturday night. One was even at the latest Batman movie. Did I have second thoughts about letting them go? Yes – for just a moment. Then I told them both to have a good time and that I loved them. I gave them each a kiss and a hug and sent them off.
I’m sure so many parents did the same thing with their kids the other night in Aurora. At least I hope they did.
Over the years, tragedy has taught me two things:
Lesson 1: Never leave those you care about without saying “I love you” or something else that shows them how much you care.
Years ago, my sister lost a good friend in a horrible accident. She told me that incident taught her that you may never get another chance to tell someone how much they mean to you, so don’t miss your opportunity.
Her wisdom always comes back to me when I hear of someone’s sudden death.
When a family member leaves the house, or I drive my kids to one of their activities, I say, “Good-bye. I love you.” They know I expect the same response from them. (“Good night. I love you” is the last thing I say when they go to bed, too.)
Is it corny? Possibly.
Is it forced? Sometimes.
Is it necessary? Yes. I never want to regret that my last words to them were anything but “I love you.”
Lesson 2: Don’t let the bad guys win.
Several friends and I had planned a girls’ weekend down at the lake to say goodbye to summer one year. A few days before we were supposed to leave, terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. While a couple people decided not to go, four of us still went to the lake. Driving down there seemed like our way of saying that the terrorists couldn’t win…that they couldn’t scare us into stopping our lives as we knew them before 9/11.
You can be sure I remembered Lesson #1 before I left on our trip. I hugged and kissed my husband and two kids. I told them I loved them and to take care of each other. [And I called them each day we were gone and said the same thing.]
The death of a child, spouse, sibling, family member or friend is heart wrenching. Regret and guilt are unnecessary in these times. Don’t leave anything unsaid. Tell people how much they mean to you…everyday if possible.
And don’t let the terrible actions of one or a small group stop you from living your life. Make your joy in living be the strongest positive counterpoint to their negative action.
“Love the people God gave you because
He will need them back one day.”
~ Author Unknown