I think this is the only word to describe the feelings inside my body again.

There was another shooting at Northern Arizona University (NAU) this morning and my cousin’s best friend was killed and 3 more kids are injured. This is not okay, not fair and not right.  She shouldn’t have to be experiencing another tragedy like this.

On the same day, there was another shooting in Houston, Texas on a college campus, leaving one person dead.

Our children go to to college to learn how to learn and to become independent and responsible adults. I didn’t think that they had to learn these type of survival skills and how to deal with this type of pain and loss.  I can’t believe that Jeff and I were talking about what advice to give our kids should they ever be in a situation like one of these.

I am scared and feel vulnerable again. One person’s actions ripple and affect us all.  Families are destroyed because of one moment of random selfishness. Why is it okay for some people to use violence to solve their problems? What is causing people to be so distraught that they no longer value life?

We are definitely connected and our country needs healing.

I know people are looking for reasons and want to understand why. They want gun control measures, and I think yes, maybe so, but this doesn’t get to the why and focuses on a band-aid and doesn’t really fix the underlying problems.

Why are young men shooting other people?  I’m sure there are several reasons. I think that our youth are missing a sense of purpose and structure. Families fall apart. Religious institutions have lost popularity. We have violent video games that are readily available.  Our mental health system is a joke. Community service is not a priority, and instead there is a strong focus on self which might not be the best thing. Sure, it’s great to be self-aware, but probably not so self-absorbed. We need each other. We need to help and to serve one another.  We need to accept ourselves and one another. We need to belong to each other because we are all connected. One Love.

If you wish to support the families involved in the NAU shooting today, there is a Go Fund Me account set up here:  NAUstrong  “All funds raised through this campaign will be donated to the victims of the shooting to help them with their various expenses following this tragedy. Stay strong everyone. Call up your loved ones and tell them you love them.”

nAMaste and rest in peace, Colin Brough.

Community Relations Manager

I’ve given myself a new job title.

Jeff asked me what I did today. I told him I was busy building community relations and I didn’t quite get to the car search I was supposed to because I was working. It sounded so much better than saying I arranged a play date for Charlie, and went to Suzsi’s house for coffee with the neighbors, and lunch with Val to catch up and celebrate my belated birthday. This is important work, you know!

I told him about my new job title and he asked where he could get a job like this, and I told him it was unfortunately already taken and that he’d have to continue with his job to provide for our family with benefits and money!  😉

We laughed. But I think it’s a pretty good gig. I love the work, love the people, love the hours and the benefits are priceless, and I’m good at it!  I think the payoff is great – even if it’s not a financial gain. The joys of living in the moment and making connections and taking care of each other is a beautiful thing. I think every town should have several community relation managers, don’t you?

Thank you Suszi for hosting us this morning and for your delicious baked french toast. Thank you Val for spoiling me and taking me out to lunch and sharing a wonderful conversation. Thank you to Gina and Ken for stopping by to chat in the street and catch up. I love this neighborhood. Thank you honey, for letting me lean in to my chosen profession and supporting our family!  And thanks to my other family for coming over for a shared dinner tonight! It’s so nice to be home again.