Most of you, if not all, have heard about the tragedy that struck Omaha about a week ago. For some reason I am totally traumatized by it! I have dreams where I am there and have to hide with Jaxson. I have dreams where I try and help people who have been hurt. Almost any scenario...I've dreamt it. Maybe because it's so close to my home, maybe because it's a store I shop at weekly, maybe it's because it could have been me or my husband or even worse Jaxson! Maybe it's because it is CHRISTMAS and it's supposed to be the happiest time of year...and now this town is completely devastated. I can't wait to come to Utah this weekend just for that reason. This tragedy has changed the "mood" here in Omaha from festive and upbeat to completely depressed. My friend Brittany described it as "somber" on her blog and she's totally right. This weekend I felt like it was important for me to go and visit the store and see the memorial. I couldn't help but just sit there and cry.
Jarom took this picture of me looking at all the flowers, stuffed animals, notes of love and sympathy that COVER the front doors of the mall and the stairs leading up to Von Maur. I can picture so clearly shopping with Jaxson... like I do almost as a ritual once a week... and the next thing I know I'm gone. I can't imagine how scared those people must have been and how strange it was to be waiting for a christmas gift to be wrapped while holding Jarom's hand and two seconds later it's over. That is what happened to 9 people last week who were doing a little christmas shopping or simply at work. A young man became depressed and sick of life...walked into Von Maur (a nice department store at the Westroads Mall) got into the elevator immediately...rode to the baby department on the 3rd floor and the minute the doors opened...started shooting anybody in his path. How many times have me, jarom and jax been in that exact location???? Why am I so crazy and upset about this???
It did help to visit and just read the thoughts and kind words from thousands of people who feel the same way as me...hurt, confused, sad, scared....even though they were not directly effected.
This is on the inside of the mall just steps away from Gymboree. So crazy? Who thinks that a simple trip to the mall could be dangerous??? A woman here in Omaha had a dream that everyone made paper snowflakes that were fragile and unique just like the lives of those who died. She dreamed that people covered Von Maur with them! She said that in her dream something told her that if we did this their memories would never "melt away" like real snowflakes. I thought it was so neat....and I was a total mess as I sat and watched little kids stand outside Von Maur and cut and design the perfect paper snowflake. Isn't that the best sight ever? There were thousands! Makes you stop and think about what's truly important. I actually have a friend who said, "that sucks! I wonder where I'm going to buy shoes?" What in the...??? Are you nuts!
Anyhow, I thought some of you would enjoy seeing the pictures of this neat memorial. They don't know when Von Maur is going to re-open...but as I peeked in I saw the christmas wreaths all lit up like nothing ever had happened...and I thought about how grateful I am to be a member of my church. Some people standing at this memorial didn't know the truth, or whether they'd ever see their loved ones again...but I know the truth...and I'm glad.