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Sharon’s Blog : Shock and Despair

Posted by Sharon O'Donnell on 2007/04/18 17:30:28

Shock and despair. These are the two words that came into my mind and heart as I watched the horrific events unfold at Virginia Tech. My sympathies go out to the loved ones of the victims and to the entire VA Tech community. I haven’t been to Blacksburg, but I have been to nearby Roanoke and know what a beautiful and ‘peaceful’ part of the country that area is. It’s hard to believe that something like this has happened there.

There is also this feeling of fragile vulnerability that cuts to our very core as human beings and as parents. Just two weeks ago, my family and I toured the campus of Florida State, and my 10th grade son talked to an admissions representative there. Now the idea of his being on a campus makes me feel sick. To me, all our schools, not just colleges are vulnerable. If it takes putting a security guard or metal detectors at every one of our schools – an expensive quest for a solution — then so be it. I can’t think of money being better spent than protecting our children and youth.

I just saw the video and photos of the killer on NBC, and after the first time I met his eyes, I could not look him in the eyes again because there was so much evil there. He says, evidently, that he hated the promiscuity and the alcohol use by college students and in our society. I hate that, too. When I was in college back in the early ’80s, I found it very difficult to adjust to a world of one-night stands and binge drinking; I remember feeling alone and sometimes very out of place. Yet, I sought out others that felt as I did and formed close friendships that still last today. I focused on my writing goals, determined to try to use my words (none of them profanity by the way) to possibly change these things in society. I turned to God, prayer, and church fellowship to get me through it. I shared my beliefs with others who sometimes didn’t feel the same way, but I hoped to make an impact on their lives by treating them as kindly as I could. My family was always there for me, too. We haven’t heard anything yet about the killer’s family, and that bothers me greatly. It’s obvious he needed help but didn’t get it.

Yet, he is not the only one who has found it hard to deal with some of the things in our society. They say he was mentally ill, and the videotape is an attempt to explain his anger. But there is no way to ever ‘explain’ what he did. Whether he was deranged, just pure evil, or both doesn’t change the end result — He did what he did in a cold, calculated, well-planned out way. I can’t imagine how the families of the victims must feel when they see those pictures of the killer (I can’t bring myself to use a name for him). The less we see of his recorded ranting on TV, the better.

Show your boys you love them. Always try to keep the lines of communication open with them. It’s so tough to be a parent in this chaotic time. Take care ladies, and God be with us all.



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