We were on our way home from the Virginia Beach Craft Show, Rick and Zack in one car, me driving the van. He radioed me and said to turn to Fox News on XM -- there'd been a shooting at Virginia Tech. Rick's son, Ryan, is a graduate student there, and we weren't able to reach him. We listened with mounting concern as we heard first one person was dead, then seven, then 20. We still had two hours to get home, and still no news from Ryan. We only hoped that he was barricaded in his lab, which has lousy cell reception.
When we finally pulled into the driveway, our neighbor called to me from his door, and I ran over to fill him in. When I went back to the driveway, Rick was in tears, and the first thing I thought was, "oh god no". But it was, fortunately for us, tears of relief, as Ryan was safe, although had been near the shootings.
I'm so aware of how fortunate we are, and how horrible this day has been for so many people. I worry about Ryan, as he's anxiously waiting to hear from friends. I worry about what kind of world this is. I just got through reading "Nineteen Minutes" a couple of weeks ago, and this feels really, really surreal.
While we were unpacking and answering a million phone calls, we happened to look out on our back porch. There's been a huge amount of wind here the past couple of days, and the wind had been strong enough that it had snapped the umbrella from our picnic table and shattered the glass top. We stood there looking at it, and thought, "Whatever". In the grand scheme of things, something like that, which would have been greatly annoying, just didn't matter.
Be sure to hug your loved ones tonight. And every single day.