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.

I was at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

By now I’m sure you’ve heard that there was an active shooter at the Gilroy Garlic Festival that I attended on Sunday.

Yes, I was there.

No, I left before the shooting started.

The new guy and I spent a couple of hours wandering around the Garlic Festival Sunday afternoon.

It was a hot day.

We dashed from shade structure to shade structure and at one point I looked the new guy dead in the eye and said, “I need to sit down in the shade.”

I was getting overheated and needed to rest.

There were TONS of families there.

Little kids in strollers.

There were literally THOUSANDS of people having fun.

Everyone was having a good time.

The bands were playing.

Mid afternoon, the new guy and I got tired of the festival and left to cool off and grab a late lunch.

We knew something was wrong when his phone started ringing off the hook.

We finished our food and were hanging out at his house watching Avengers End Game.

News of the attack hadn’t reached the television yet but the new guy’s daughter had a friend who tweeted that there was an active shooter at the festival and there were injuries/fatalities.

We assured his family that we were safe and nowhere near the festival.

Then I set about calling everyone who knew I was attending the festival that day to let them know I was safe.

Which is a lot of people when you blog that you’re going to the garlic festival.

I basically had to tell all my friends and family I was safe.

Facebook made it easier for me to reach out to everyone.

And of course, I have to blog it so my readers know I’m okay.

Seeing the news coverage of the attack, seeing the same places I toured as a festival goer now become the scene of a crime was shocking.

People running through the open areas where the new guy and I had strolled just hours before.

Hug your parents.

Kiss your children.

Life is precious.