Monday, June 5, 2017

We Do What We Can

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That t-shirt tells a story, doesn't it?  

It's a story that my uneven gait references whenever I leave the house and expose myself to others.  If my face is unfamiliar, I look like an old lady who limps.  For those who were here and who remember, it's the whole thing all over again.  I can see it on their faces; over six years time it's become a recognizable syndrome.  This happened to all of Tucson is a phrase I've repeated over and over again.  Those looks validate my contention.

My presence as a reminder of evil.... because they don't know me.  They don't know that I am a survivor.  The shooter is not an everyday feature of my life; the physical consequences of his bullets is as far as he gets into my world.  Their looks bring Christina-Taylor right back to me, and that's okay, because she's usually smiling her snarky smile, shoving me back from the abyss.  

I endure the hugs they need to give.  I move on.  I am a survivor.  

Several years ago, watching me galumph from the couch to the kitchen, Brother mused thusly :"You can never get a break, can you?  It's always there to remind you."  He's right, but maybe not in the way he imagines.  I control the memories; my limp connects to I got shot and (for the most part) not much else.  Not the losses, not the blood, not the young man himself; they do not live in the front of my brain.  I can't be that sad nor that scared nor that angry all the time.  I can't wallow, because that would be wasting the fact that the sun came up today and I was here to see it.  To be a survivor, I have to live my life.

And so, June 2nd came and went.  I took a deep breath and wore my t-shirt to the grocery store, where I received a giant smile and an enthusiastic thumbs up from a total stranger at the Deli Counter.  A little boy wondered about our interaction and I gave him the little boy explanation (He didn't know to use his words instead of a gun.) I walked away listening to his mother reinforce the lesson,  and I took myself and my shirt right home.

I couldn't go to the Rally to End Gun Violence.  I couldn't walk around the mall, looking for the perfect little birthday gift for a friend who is moving away.  I couldn't go to the gym.  I felt too vulnerable, too exposed, too scared.  I shared thoughts with a few.  I took many deep breaths.  

I am a survivor.  I do what I can.


  1. Looking beautiful in orange or any other color. Sorry I've been MIA. Since I'm not working right now, I haven't been online that much. Been trying to get so many projects done in my house (organizing the kids closets, the pantry, my craft room etc....)

    Been trying really hard to not even look at the news. My heart cannot take it.

    Sending love and hugs!

    Megan xxx


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