Last weekend I woke up a bit sleepy and groggy. Which is to be expected. That’s what the weekend is supposed to be feel like. Check! I woke up around 6:00am or so and grabbed my phone. How very 2019! I immediately went on Twitter as that is from where I get my breaking news. And sure enough there was breaking news. Sadly, in the span of 13 hours we had two mass shootings. I had gone to sleep watching the news regarding the El Paso shooting. I woke to catch the Dayton shooting. I texted my sister the news and she couldn’t believe it was so. Yes, it was.
I got up and made myself two cups of coffee. That is my standard. I needed normalcy in an odd world. I turned on the television and caught sone eye witness reports of the latest shooting. I then switched to my DVR to watch NCIS: Los Angeles. I’ve been binging on it all summer. Maybe it’s my way of staying connected to the city of Angels. It seems so long ago that I was there.
Thirty minutes later major sirens start blasting through the building. Then someone comes on to say we must all get out quickly and couldn’t use the elevators. It was a declared emergency. I figured someone burned some morning toast somewhere. Yet, the loud sirens and slamming doors were unnerving. Then we all hit the stairs. I’m on the 23rd floor. Then my son and I got separated.
I was in panic mode but remained calm (ish). I called him on his cell. He was worried something really bad was happening. He’s gone through numerous active shooter drills at school. He knows one has to run, hide, fight. I assured him this was probably burnt toast. But the morning news certainly played out somewhere deep in my head. I pushed it out and focused on finding my son. We reunited on the 9th floor. There are about 8 stairwells in my building so it all took some coordinating. But we made it back to each other and all was fine. Those few minutes of heing apart, however, were torture. Absolute torture. And that was just an alarm in a tall high-rise. I can’t imagine other events and scenarios where you have to find a loved one in a chaotic, dangerous scene. I hope people can find ways to reconnect with one another and always stay in touch with their humanity.