The Silver Lining

There’s always a silver lining, or so they say.

It seems unspeakably wrong to have anything good come out of an active shooter situation.

The tragic loss of life and the incredible suffering of those affected by the horror of the shootings at the Garlic Festival far outweigh any positive outcome I could mention.

But I’ll mention it anyway.

People have come out of the woodwork to tell me how much they love me.

Just today, I got a video chat from my friend Michelle telling me how much she loves me and how glad she is that I’m safe.

My boys hugged me like they haven’t seen me in years.

I got calls from longtime friends asking how I’m doing and do I need to talk.

Nadine took me out to dinner Wednesday night.

It was the first time I’d seen her since the shooting.

I hugged her like time would never end.

Barbara called me up in tears, so worried that I came that close to an active shooter.

Everyone is so thankful that the new guy and I left early and weren’t there for the shooting.

It’s enough to make a grown woman cry.

And I did.

In the wake of the shooting (and The Swede’s engagement), I find myself comfortably cocooned in the love and affection of my friends and family, making a difficult week somewhat bearable.

Out of necessity, I think we all inhabit a place where life is less tentative and fragile than it is, until something happens to shock us out of our fog and make us aware that life is fleeting.

I’m living in that space right now.

Our capacity for causing pain is enormous.

All you need to do is read the headline news.

But it is surpassed by our ability to love, help, comfort and provide joy.

In the end, once I’ve moved through this painful place, that is what I’ll take away.

More Garlic Festival Fallout

Yesterday, I hit a wall.

I literally couldn’t stop thinking about how close I came to being in an active shooter situation.

I was fuzzy.

Unfocused.

As news of the victims came out along with information on the shooter, I struggled to keep productive at work.

Images of people running for their lives filled my head.

Then a familiar face on the TV screen – a friend.

He was onstage performing with his band when the shooting started.

He had to take cover under the stage.

OMG.

Had I known his band was playing, would I have stayed to see him perform?

Would I have been there for the bullets during the encore?

Thoughts of how close I came to being yards away from an active shooter filled my head.

It was all I could do to make it through my day.

I searched for something benign to think about.

Star Trek costumes.

Comic Con costumes.

I’m going to Comic Con next month and so maybe helping to plan a costume might help.

Hint:  It didn’t.

Finally, I broke down and called the new guy.

He updated me on his family.

The shooter was a local teenager.

The new guy’s family is also local.

His kids knew the shooter.

It was like a bomb went off.

All the threads leading up to the shooting – dating a Gilroy local, being a festival goer who escaped the tragedy yet somehow being inextricably affected by it – started to tangle around me and I’ve got to say, I am struggling to process what happened.

Please send hugs and peaceful vibes my way.

I know there’s no short cut to heal from this kind of tragedy.

But I could really use a nice warm snuggle to make me feel safe and secure.

It’s been a rough two days.

Garlic Festival

I’m going to the Garlic Festival with the new guy on Sunday.*

He used to volunteer to help organize it.

And given that I’m a lifelong advocate for volunteering, you can just go ahead and assume I’m impressed with that.

The trick of course, is figuring out what to wear.

  1. It’s gonna be hot, Hot, HOT!
  2. I want to look pretty for the new guy
  3. Did I mention it’s going to be HOT?

If you’re worried about me eating garlic all day then trying to snog the new guy, no worries.

I am sure that he will be consuming as much garlic as me, if not more.

Reminds me of the time my little sister ate two whole heads of roasted garlic at my house for Halloween one year, only to have the garlic smell come out her pores later.

That’s how powerful garlic is.

I’m also reminded of when I went to the Great Bull Run at the Alameda County Fairgrounds a few years ago to run “with” the bulls in the hot HOT HEAT.

Sweat dripped off my body and when it came time to fool around with my date, he made me take a shower at his house because I was “salty.”

I don’t want a repeat of that.

So I’m going to wear one of my sundresses with my new espadrilles.

And a WHOLE LOT OF SUNBLOCK!

 

*UPDATE:  The new guy and I were at the festival on Sunday but left before the shooting.  To read my blog post about the festival, please go to this link.