Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Bomb Threat

My husband and I were bringing Chloe home from dance when we got the call. Danielle, whose little voice cracked with fear, called our cell phone and gave us the news, "Where are you? Please hurry home. I'm at Grandpa's." Today my daughter's school was dismissed early. I would love to say it was a planned dismissal for parent conferences, or because snow covered roads had school officials concerned. But it wasn't. "There was a bomb threat at the school," Danielle finished.

I knew she was home safe which was an instant relief to me, but still I was scared. What was going on? What is coming of this world? A world where we can't even send our children to school and feel safe. I couldn't even imagine the terror that Danielle felt as she awaited dismissal.

I was right about that. She was petrified - although the teachers did not tell the children what was going on. They were simply shuffled from place to place, with ominous announcements coming from the loud speakers. She recounted the whole story to me, but only wept at one point. She got up extra early this morning to go for a run with her father before school. She and her dad just started doing this recently and it's special to her because he works second shift and she rarely gets one-on-one time with him. Through her tears and squeaky voice she said, "All I could think was 'Would this morning be the last time I ever run with my dad?'" Such finality. So wrong for a girl almost 12 to be thinking. Again, what is this world coming to?

We live right across the street from the school. Through trees and a couple houses lined up in front of ours, we could see the police cars, ambulances and fire trucks. We could hear sirens and barking bomb sniffing dogs alerting others of impending danger. As I walked my children back to our house from my in laws (they live right next door) we heard what sounded like an explosion. Maybe it wasn't just a threat - some kids thoughtless idea to get out of school for the day. Maybe it was real. A real bomb in my daughter's school. This is real. And it's really scary.

I thought of the victims of Virginia Tech. I thought of the fear they must have experienced; the terror. I imagined what the parents and loved ones of the students who go there were thinking, feeling. Worry. Terror. Impatient to get a phone call. Not that I hadn't thought of that before, but today intensified everything for me.

I also thought of all the news stories, "____________ school was dismissed early today because of a bomb threat." How many times had I heard that before, and somewhere in the back of my mind thought, We are safe here. Nothing will ever happen at our school.

I still do not know if the noise I heard was a bomb being detonated. It doesn't matter. The children in this town are safe right now and I've been enlightened. I'm so glad we have today. I'm thankful for my two beautiful girls and a husband who is my rock and strong place. Today, as I try to push back the fear of the unknown, I am counting my blessings. For today, my daughter is safe.

9 comments:

Betsy Henning said...

Is there nowhere safe on earth? I hope writing this was the catharsis you need and deserve. Danielle is lucky to have a mom who she can talk this through with. May you both find comfort, assurance, and peace.

I wept.

Love, Betsy

Lisa Vella said...

Thank you for your kind and comforting words, Betsy. God has a way of putting peace and comfort in our hearts.

I also wept.

Love,
Lisa

Mihaela Lica said...

I don't know, Lisa! I am really finding a difficult time to deal with all these hate messages! Like you, I don't understand... what's wrong with this world? And why schools? Why do people need to involve kids in this carnival of hate? What can we do? Who can really defend the kids from something so unexpected? Who wants kids to live in fear? So many questions... No answers. Dark.

I thank God your daughter is fine. I pray for her safety from now on and I pray for you too. May no cloud shadow your beautiful spirit.

Mig

Lisa Vella said...

Mihaela Lica,

I am too. All of a sudden I do not feel safe in this little town we live in. If we cannot feel safe here, where can we?

No answers here either. Just love - love each other, love our children, love our family and friends. I try to set a good example for my girls and hope that is enough. I do not know.

For Danielle a little bit of innocence was lost. That truly saddens me. It made me sad that she feared going to school today.

But what makes me happy is that she was able to glean something good out if it. After her run she typed a message onto her dad's cell phone saying, "thankx for the run." An endearing message. She realized how significant that was. She realizes the importance of making the most out of each day. Now that's pretty cool. As for me, I won't let those clouds shadow my day for long!

Thank you for your thoughtful words, Mig. May you have a blessed day!

Lisa

Laura said...

I am so sorry that this happened to you. It's scary to have kids these days!

Robin said...

Lisa,
How scary! My daughter is 12 also and I can't imagine the fear. I have also always thought, "at least not in our town"...now I'm getting scared to let her out of my sight in the morning. Thank God your daughter is safe.

Lisa Vella said...

Laura, you are so right. It is scary. My husband and I want one more child, but sometimes I wonder if that's the thing to do.

Robin, I'm thankful too!

It's our job to protect our children. We can't completely, can we? But we do the best we can.

Lisa

sylvia c. said...

Lisa,

I read your post this morning and have been thinking about you and your family all day.

I, too, have been evaluating if I feel safe in this world.

I pray that you all find the peace you need. And that instances like these only make stronger in our faith, and that we do not cower (though, we may want to).

truly,

Sylvia C.

Lisa Vella said...

Sylvia,

Thank you so much for your thoughts. I can't tell you how much that means to me. You are a dear sweet young woman!

I've come to the conclusion that we do have a choice. We can live in fear and allow these situations to rule our lives, or we can rise above them and live for today. We can strengthen our relationships and faith and always strive for better.

I choose the latter!

Thanks again for your thoughts and input!

Take care,

Lisa