Building community, waiting in line...

Today was an unusual day...I went to interview for a summer job at the high school and ended up staying all day. This week has been a strange one...the last week of school, preparing to move to a new building, a shooting at the high school. Since Tuesday, many in my district have been shaken to the core...students, families, teachers, the community. Although we are a part of the greater metro area, we are a small community...this week I have been reminded.

On Tuesday, after evacuation, families waited in line. Waiting patiently for their children to get off the bus, to see their faces in a flood of faces in the parking lot of Wood Village Fred Meyer, they stood. It was sweet being reunited, but it was the beginning of the wait. There has been more than one scenario this week...when evacuated, students brought their backpack or purse with them outside of the building and were required to leave them outside or students left whatever items they had inside the building and it remained there. Yesterday afternoon, students who left their items outside the building, went to Reynolds Middle School and waiting in line to pick up their items. Today students who needed to turn in textbooks or clean out their lockers, waited in line to be escorted throughout the building to pick up their personal items.

I monitored the line...the pain on many of the student's faces evident. I hugged many of the kids...some of them I had before, others I don't even know. It didn't matter...they are hurting...they are children...I am hurting for them. I wish my hug could have taken their hurt away.

Lines...families waited patiently, they allowed others to be their guides as they went from class to class for students to pick up their items. People were patient, even apologetic, they accepted our responses to their questions. It was a reminder that we are all in this together. To heal, we must pull together, take care of one another.

A community, by definition, "is a group of people living in the same place or having a characteristic in common", but it also means "a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals." The Reynolds community has been bonded by a common occurrence, one that no child, adult, family, or frankly, community should have to withstand. We have lost two precious souls, two families are shattered, two families are trying to family receiving support from across the region, while the other is struggling to understand, struggling to figure out where they belong, apologetic and confused.

This is where the line should begin...the hugs strong and loving. Each family, as well as the entire community, should feel the arms surround them, the love flowing through them, the healing begin...

I want to be first in line...first to love...first to remember and remind, we are a community. <3


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