Friday, November 4, 2011


I got a text message this afternoon from my daughter Megan that was a little alarming. It simply said: Stay away from the Walmart right now please. Gun violence threat just came in to 911. I immediately texted her back and asked her if it was in our city because she works in a different city? I got distracted before she answered me back and it was a good hour or more before I thought about it again--maybe longer. But when I did, it occurred to me that my parents had gone to vote more than two hours ago and weren't back yet. It was an early voting day so I didn't think it would be taking them that long. There isn't a whole lot else to do here so panic flashed through my brain and I feared maybe they had gone to Walmart. For a split second I wasn't sure what to do next--start calling my parents, call Megan back to get more details, start checking the TV or Internet for news. I kind of felt like someone with one foot nailed to the floor and the house set on fire! I did immediately dial Mom and Dad's phone, though--but they didn't answer. I kept dialing it over and over and letting it ring--knowing it might take a minute for them to hear it if it was in a pocket or purse. I also started texting Megan back on my cell phone. Finally, Dad answered the cell phone. I don't think I've ever been so glad to hear his voice. I couldn't get my question out fast enough. "Where are you?" Then came the worst words he's ever said. "We're at Walmart." I heard myself saying "NO, NO, NO, NO! Are you inside? He told me he was in the parking lot in the van and Mom was inside. I really felt panicked now. I told him what was going on and he told me he couldn't see any police cars and that people were coming and going like normal. He seemed really calm--so that made me feel calm. I finally got ahold of Megan and got the story she had gotten. Apparently an angry man had gone to the customer service desk and was so upset about something he told them he was coming back with a gun. Then later the store received another call from an angry customer angry they feel may be related to the first incident. That's it--those two things. I had visions of assault rifles and wounded people. I'm really so, so grateful it wasn't more than it was. There is too much anger and violence in our world already. I am going to pay more attention in the future to my text messages -- and LESS attention to them. :) Night all.

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