I’ve been trying to put into words how I feel about what happened two years ago. I haven’t said anything much about it up until now and I don’t really know how to vocalize it or comprehend it; I don’t know what’s right or wrong to say, there’s much unknown. There’s not a textbook to tell us how we deal with losing our innocence and faith in humanity, there’s no Wikipedia on how to get over the idea that the place you’d been told was a safe haven was actually the main focus in nightmares, there’s no how-to on this. No person should have to go through this sort of tragedy.
It’s hard to be on the outside looking in… I wasn’t in the school that afternoon . My story is not like that of someone on the inside. Mine was seeing him come in his car as I was leaving, it’s getting a message about there being a shooter on the loose, it’s standing outside watching and not knowing if your friends are alive.
We all saw things that day that shook us to our cores, but we also saw something incredible; as a community we came together and we rose up from the ashes, destined to amazing things. We fought back with the true strength of Warriors, and there’s nothing more beautiful than that. We fought and will continue to fight. As warriors, we always take care of one another.
Two years later I can say that I’ve started to live everyday with a new appreciation. It’s an appreciation for G-d and the people in my life, for the sun that shines, the birds that sing, and the music that plays. I live life now by hugging friends a bit tighter while laughing louder and being unapologetic about caring.
It’s not easy and it’s not going to change over night (or even two years). Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the day that changed so many lives forever; somedays are easier than others, but I will continue to try and make the day one that holds a power of appreciation instead of fear and sadness. I will remember her smile and courage and allow that to carry me through.
12.13.13 is a day that will forever remain in my heart, but this day of 12.13.15 I once again choose to be Warrior Strong by, “choosing, every day, consciously and deliberately, to love.”
That’s the spirit of Arapahoe.