Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hits Home

6 comments
 
Working in a newsroom, I've become jaded. Murders are a dime a dozen. Cars crash daily. Politicians are elected then scandalously ousted from office. I've seen it all. But when violence finds its way to our children, you can't help but cry. Your heart aches for the children and their parents who must now help their kids deal with tragedy.

As a mom, some days get to you more than others. Today was one of those days.

Gunfire erupted at a local school. And I personally witnessed the fear and sadness that filled the students' eyes.

I had seen that look before. Just two months shy of my due date, a madman terrorized the halls of Case Western Reserve University. There I was, in my pregnant glory, walking in the middle of Euclid Avenue. As the adrenaline hurried through my body, Amara would occasionally kick my stomach, as if to remind her mother to breathe.

My floral maternity top, flare legged pants and flip flops stood out as I worked side by side with SWAT officers, reporters, and worried family members. Authorities had the media a block away from the scene. But if the gunman was a good sharpshooter, I could have found myself in the immediate crossfire. It probably was not the brightest decision for an expectant mother. What was I thinking bringing a child into a world littered with gun violence in schools?

Fast forward four years. A derailed train had burst into flames, causing hundreds of residents to evacuate. Producers rushed to get the latest information on air as our reporters and photographers were dispatched to the scene. As we worked diligently, our newsroom began to fill with the glare of emergency lights. I peered from my computer monitor and saw police officers at the school across the street. Then more officers arrived. And guns were drawn. Then a crowd began to assemble. Shortly after, I found myself at the school's front entrance, talking with a reporter then assisting a photographer. I had sprinted so quickly that the heels of my new black pumps had dug into the soft ground and were now covered in mud and grass.

Two teachers had been shot. Some students had been hit as well.

I raced along the sidewalk, only knowing my mission - to help get the story. But I was stopped in my tracks. The "crowd" I had seen was not a crowd at all. They were teenagers. They were students who were fortunate enough to evacuate the school prior to lockdown. Some teens stood in shock. Others sobbed. And there I was, unaware of the true emotion surrounding me. And I apparently was oblivious to the danger I put myself in. What was I thinking placing Amara's mom in harm's way?

After 14 hours at work, I drove home just in time for Amara's bedtime story. Tonight, she got two stories and a very tight hug.

EDIT: Want to see what I did most of the day? Click here.

6 comments :

  1. saw your station's reporters fist on the scene yesterday.. and totally thought about you! Hope your day is less traumatic.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So scary that this happens so often now. I didn't even hear about it until now... school shootings aren't as big news anymore apparently. Thats the saddest part.

    ReplyDelete
  3. how alike are our posts about the breaking news day from hell? you just say it better.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your job sounds extremely exciting (the scary, tragic parts notwithstanding). But I bet when that adrenaline gets pumping it's a really intense high. I hope you get plenty of rest this weekend - 14 hour workday - yikes!

    ReplyDelete
  5. OMG! I am so sorry that you were so close to the tragedy. My heart and prayers go out to all you were affected.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You never think something like that is going to happen so close to home...
    Cleveland is only just over an hour from me.
    It's so scary to let our children out into a world that is so unpredictable.

    ReplyDelete

 
© 2012. Design by Main-Blogger - Blogger Template and Blogging Stuff