Thursday, Kaden was swimming with friends in the evening, so Tom and I decided to stop for some queso. We relaxed for a little bit and some girlfriends that I know were having a surprise party, so I chatted with them for awhile. When Tom and I got up to leave, the ladies asked me to stay, but I had a ton of things to finish so I had to go home. At home, I finished some editing and Tom wanted to go for a bike ride. We had been talking about training Frankie to ride bikes with us, and decided that with Kaden swimming, it would be a good time to teach her, without her wanting to run with her bestest buddy and “brother.” We rode for a little while and Frankie got a little overzealous, pulled me on my bike and I wiped out. It hurt, I hit pretty hard and was banged up. Nothing significant, no doctors necessary, but still, it didn’t feel very good.

That was the primary reason that we didn’t go see The Dark Knight Rises when it opened on Friday morning at midnight.

Eerie, right? I’ve never been so happy for so many bruises on my legs. Kaden wanted to go, and he was planning on wearing his Batman costume to go see the movie. Granted, we don’t frequent that particular theater for several reasons, but Aurora is my hometown. I have been to that theater several times, and remember when it was built. I grew up here. I remember when Nathan Dunlap went into Chuck E. Cheese and shot several people, killing four, almost 20 years ago. I also remember the Columbine tragedy, watching people climbing out of windows, with tears in my eyes. And now, 12 dead, 58 injured, all because they wanted to go see a movie. The injured number differs depending on which news channel you watch, but the bottom line is still frightening – 12 souls lost to senseless violence, several in pain.

I’ve thought about this post for three days now, because quite frankly, I don’t really know what to say. I woke up Friday morning to several phone calls, text messages, emails and Facebook messages, asking if I was okay. Friends from all over the world saw the horrific news and checked in. Tom’s best friend in Florida woke us at 6:30am to make sure we were okay. He heard the news and almost drove off of the road. I had just posted on Facebook how excited I was to go see the movie, and my friends know that we often see movies like this the first weekend – they were worried. I had no idea what had happened until I got up and read the news.

There are no words. There is nothing that anyone can say that will make anyone else feel better. Someone said to me “at least they took him alive, he doesn’t get the easy way out like the Columbine killers.” I don’t know that that particular fact provides solace to those who are directly affected. Although thinking about it, I don’t know that his suicide would have provided solace either. I read tonight that “Let’s just say he hasn’t shown any remorse,” a jail employee told the Daily News. “He thinks he’s acting in a movie.” I’m just… in shock. Awed by the complete lack of reverence for human life. No remorse, no thoughts whatsoever about what he just took from the world.

What really makes me angry is watching people use this tragedy to push a political agenda. Just a few hours after the shooting occurred, websites and social media were lighting up with political messages from both sides. Folks I don’t care what side you’re on, 12 people were lost. These families will never again see their sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, mothers… One six year old died, and her mother remains in the hospital, paralyzed. And politics is the first thing we’re thinking about? What is wrong with this picture.

There are no words, no laws, no promises, NOTHING that will help these families right now except prayers and being surrounded with love and support.

Colorado has been hit hard this summer. Please keep us in your prayers. The victims that are in the hospital, their lives forever changed. The families that lost the ones they loved. The mother that has been judged for taking her daughter to a movie at midnight, that sits in a hospital bed, feeling emotions that very few people can even imagine. Leave your judgment at the door and love your fellow human beings who are hurting. Pray for the people affected, the fear, the anger and the pain. One of the beautiful things that came from September 11, 2001 was the joining of the American people to overcome the monstrous attack. This attack is on a much smaller scale, but it still affects us all. Please, join in support of those who are hurting and show the crazies that hurt others that they can’t divide and conquer, that their acts will result in strength and love. The very things they try to tear down.

Thank you to all of my family and friends who checked in on us. It warms my heart to know that people thought of me and were concerned. Canada, New Zealand, Washington, Iowa, Florida, Texas, California, New Mexico, the UK – all over the world – I love you all, thank you.

Love and prayers to everyone affected by this horrible tragedy.

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