“He was targeting blonde sorority girls” was what I heard when I turned on my radio on Saturday morning May 24. I listened intently to the rest of the news cast. “A shooting at the University of California Santa Barbara last night….” that was all I heard my head started spinning as I fumbled for my cell phone. I was in the car going to a friend’s garage sale. My cousin attends UCSB and she is a sweet, pretty blonde sorority girl. She is a serious student with an enormous sense of humor and love for everyone. Calling her mom I could not dial my phone fast enough “hello” she said. All I said was her daughter’s name and she said “she’s OK”. Relief flooded me as my heart almost beat out of my chest.

Family is family is….even though we are not close in proximity all of the time we are always close in heart and love. Through the years we have celebrated birthdays, Christmas, gradations, weddings, weekend barbeques, beach camping trips, all of the things families do. There is history. The heart strings run deep and strong. Nothing draws you to a more polarizing place than thinking one of your precious family members is in trouble. It is kind of like when Christopher Reeve sees the penny in the movie A Moment In Time. He is hurled back from his comfortable place of existence with the love of his life in the past to the present where he really belonged.

People go along living their daily lives, getting up having their coffee, brushing their teeth, picking out their clothing for the day, writing their “to do” lists, walking their dogs, going to garage sales all the while thinking and knowing everyone they love is OK then you turn on the radio. “Two of the students killed were in front of a sorority” is what I heard. My heart breaks for those who were killed and for their families. That poor father who came on the news and spoke of his son Christopher. I have prayed for him a lot. Texting with my cousin later she said she was going to be OK. I believe her. I am hoping that this will not define her college years. She says that they are strong and staying strong #staystrongIV.

That same day we went to a park at the bay to a family birthday party. Most of the family was there celebrating the birth of a one year old! It was glorious. The talk was of our cousin and how we all wanted to just hug her right then and let her know we loved her. Several of us had contacted her and she assured us she was OK. I know God is in control of all of this. There is evil in the world and will continue to be until He comes for His church. As I was walking back to the car right by the back tire I found a penny “well look at this” I said to my husband. I had not noticed it as we had gotten out of the car 4 hours earlier. In God I Trust for my family, my friends, for humanity.

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