A year ago today, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL was added to the already way too long list of horrific school shootings. This event hit home as I remember so vividly my fears, prayers and feelings as the event unfolded. I was texting with my cousin Kayla, a student at MSD, as she hid in the library. Kayla has a ‘bad ass’ spirit and her passions and future career aspirations led her to be part of the Police Explorers program in South Florida. Luckily being part of this program she was able to quickly connect with the the police and swat team to ensure they knew where Kayla and her classmates were hiding and could soon to be rescued.
A couple days after the shooting – Paul, the kids and I headed down to see our FL family. It is one of our families favorite vacations each year. Last year was much different though as we grieved with our family that lost friends, classmates, and heroes. No teenager, adult, NO person should ever experience the pain this community went through. The pain and fear will never leave us and it truly changes our life.
When reflecting on this day a year ago and just a normal day it’s important to remember the perspectives of life. Being diagnosed with cancer, I (we) know what our future may hold. We wait for remission or in my case no remission and just pray it doesn’t reoccur BUT…although I know what my future may hold it’s important that I (we, survivors) don’t get to wrapped up in the ‘what the future may hold’ – as we may never get to that future. Each day is completely unknown to all of us – some completely out of our control.
My previous boss (and friend) has cheered me along in my journey and I am forever grateful. Shortly after diagnosis he sent me this email and I have it hanging on my computer monitor.
This short phrase helps me through the dark days as we truly don’t know what’s on the horizon and more than ever important to control what we can and live smiling and full of positive energy.
So as we remember those who lost their lives a year ago – remember that we are all subject to the 20% of life where we are operating at high risk and low agency BUT we must set our goals to live a long healthy life and I think a top tactic is to find gratitude. So enjoy the small things and make sure you tell those you love – you love them. Enjoy today, be grateful for the day and cherish the time with those you love most.
To the 17 taken from us too soon, to my FL family and their community – You are forever in our thoughts and prayers. #MSDStrong #prayforparkland
#mrscaptainron #youcantakemysightbutyoucanttakemyvision #FUOM #seriouslyFUOM