“Mum, I just heard on the radio there’s been a shooting at Virginia Tech and two people are dead”. My son’s phone call shocked me wide awake this morning.
I wouldn’t ordinarily be writing here on a subject so very remote from quilting, but having just told you yesterday that Sarah is a Hokie (a member of the VT community), I felt it was OK to share my feelings as a concerned mum on the other side of the world.
I immediately turned on Facebook for the VT updates, and put in a Skype call to Sarah in Blacksburg. It went unanswered.
It wasn’t until I reached her on her cell phone some minutes later that I was reassured. I knew she wasn’t hurt, but having heard that the university was in lock-down, with everyone warned to stay indoors and away from windows while the police searched for an armed gunman, I imagined her anxious and frightened.
Nope. That was just her mum.
With the calmness I should have expected from my Sarah she explained that she had left the general area of the shootings just 20 minutes before it happened, and was now waiting to hear when it would be safe for her to return.
VT has an impressive array of up-to-the-minute media alert systems that not only keep students and academic staff abreast of what’s happening on campus, but are a God-send for parents at times like these – especially parents like us on the other side of the world.
Not long after this I was extremely relieved to view this media conference.
The healing still continues from the 2007 massacre when 32 people were shot on the VT campus, and incidents like today’s easily shake out those dreadful memories. My heart goes out to the college community.
How desperately sad for the policeman’s family, and the family of the unidentified, but clearly troubled, gunman. May they be conscious of God’s arms around them in the midst of this tragedy.
So many questions – and so much we may never be able to explain.