An Anniversary of Sorts

December 4, 2013

Steider Studios:  Towering Trees in Sunlight on Mt. Adams

I’ve been barely breathing this last year without even realizing it.  One week from today, December 11th is the anniversary of the Clackamas_Town_Center_shooting.  I was there.  Or I should say I was almost there.  There but for the grace of God. Spirit. Guardian Angel.  My own intuition.  I was exiting the mall as the shooter began spraying bullets where I had stood three minutes before.

This is what I posted on my Facebook page:  “I cannot believe how lucky I am. Missed the Clackamas shooting by 5 minutes if that! If I had gone into the Made in OR store & browsed like I wanted to, instead of racing to Sports Authority for gift cards I would’ve been locked in! Feeling goose-bumpy……..”

Almost a year later I’m beginning to realize how my life has changed because of that event.  At the time it was nothing more than a near miss – I was too busy to give it further thought.  I didn’t think I was affected…yet I was…and still am. Not taking anything for granted.  No longer planning my life a year in advance for show & teaching schedules. Not wasting time on things that don’t matter. Lately my thoughts have bubbled to the surface and I’m acknowledging how it altered my life.

When I walked into the food court that day I had a prickly fearful feeling that I wanted to get out of there. As I looked at two employees talking in front of their counter I had a strange thought that one of them could have a gun. I shook it off as a weird unwelcome thought, but it was all I could do to make myself go to the restroom so I could get out of there sooner rather than later. On my way out of the food court I started towards ‘Made in Oregon’, a regular stop for me but that nagging voice in my head insisted I keep moving forward with my Christmas shopping. GET OUT OF HERE is what reverberated in my head. “Don’t dally, get across the street to Sports Authority and finish your shopping”. GO HOME is what I wanted to do.

As I drove home after my last purchases and heard what happened on the radio, I started shaking so hard I had to pull over. I looked at my receipts and discovered I’d exited Clackamas Town Center about the same time a shooter began his rampage. I didn’t know how lucky I was to acknowledge my intuition and left a disaster unscathed. Mostly unscathed.  I still feel a little shaky thinking about it, but I think I’m beginning to process it.

Steider Studios: Flicker Backlit

I’ve always had a joyful spirit, but now even more so.  Looking forward to seeing where new adventures take me.

I hesitate to hit the ‘publish’ button for this post, yet feel compelled to share this as part of my catharsis.  Here goes….

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