It’s so difficult to watch everyone else go on their family weekends, go hiking, walking, running, just plain having fun, etc while I spent the entire weekend in bed, sleeping for well over 30 hours, pushing my son away on my brother-in-law’s family because I have absolutely no energy, all the while feeling guilty for it and hating others because they GET to do all those things as if their life wasn’t affected one bit by this tragedy. Some of their husbands were in the same place as mine but many don’t have anyone involved from Aurora PD. Some went to prayer vigils but many just acted like it was any normal weekend.
How is this possible?
Well, let me tell you, this was a HORRIBLE weekend. It is unfair. I expected to have some emotions surrounding this incident but I didn’t expect to be blown away by the sheer exhaustion and grief from several types of losses.
My son had no father this weekend and NO mother.
Our camper sits on the side of the house, prepped to go on our family trip but in reality, it will just be taken back to storage.
I was alone, no one to be with. No one to talk with about this incident or how it affected my family because my best friend was sitting outside the suspects home figuring out how to dismantle a bomb. I needed the presence of a person, not a phone call or text message.
We didn’t have anyone die in the theater but so much of what we knew has changed and will forever be changed.
I spent the wee hours of that first night at my hospital preparing for more victims and families of victims and watched the incident completely unfold around us on TV. The images of my family theater (Century 16 Aurora) surrounded by police cars, ambulances, fire trucks and helicopters destroyed the innocence of that theater.
I spent that morning, worrying and praying for the safety of my husband and all the officers who were called upon to help with this tragedy. I worried about my son, who was woken from his sound sleep only to discover his mother was gone and his father was leaving and he needed to be the biggest, strongest little boy by waiting for someone to come get him.
My old city, the city my son was born in, and the city my husband serves to protect was ruined, right in front of my eyes.
The family theater, the same one my husband and father-in-law and friends, protect on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays destroyed.
One of the most vulnerable places you can be and often thought of as safe, is now a place of distrust and won’t feel safe for a very long time.
You see, I can’t read all the Facebook posts of all the happy people, hiking, camping, doing family things, etc because I CAN’T. My family is off protecting the city and now the President. My family weekend was abruptly stopped and because of that, I lost all energy and flow to do anything. I am usually the one who is up and running around, but today, it was my husband; who yelled at me to get out of bed because 2 days in it was enough. Yelling at me because we have a child who needs his mother and I will HAVE to get him later. Yelling at me because this isn’t the best way to handle the situation. Pushing me out of the bed, pulling me out of the bed, opening the blinds, taking the covers and pillows, getting out my workout clothes and yelling at me to put them on and go jog.
No. I can’t go. I need more time to get through this funk. I need that DAMN trailer to go to storage because looking at it reminds me of Thursday. The day we scrambled around in preparation for our fishing trip. It reminds me of the days before, planning where we were going and how we were going to catch a fish other than a trout. It brings me back to the moment where we were a normal family, the three of us. A father who teaches police officers to shoot, a mother who is rebuilding a security team, and a boy who has his parents fully available to him when he needs us. But just after midnight on Friday, we were sorely reminded that we are public servants, police officers, security managers and disaster specialists.
For me, I was only needed for 6 hours following the shooting but for my family; my husband spent three days working with the finest police department in the State of Colorado picking up the pieces of all the destruction from one man who had blatant disregard for the lives of others and only thought of himself. Yes, this man ruined my weekend and I am pissed but he ruined much more than that.
He took away the innocence of a child, the lives of twelve people, destroyed the family atmosphere, and brought fear into thousands of homes. He also managed to bring strangers together, others closer to God, and brought Jesus here to walk with those who are suffering. But I am still mad and I will be for a while, because right now, all I see and all I feel is the death and damage to innocent lives, the massive grief and suffering people are experiencing, the destruction of my family unit, the loss of my family weekend, and the defacing and permanent change to my family’s movie theater. This is the ONLY theater my son knows. It’s gone and people are dead. No, this isn’t a regular weekend. This weekend sucks!