Folks around here are shocked and deeply saddened in the aftermath of last Friday night’s shooting rampage that took place nearby in Isla Vista. Although our family doesn’t know anyone who was directly affected, we know quite a few people who are involved in helping to “pick up the pieces” and bring healing to the community at large…friends who work in the UCSB counseling office, UCSB employees, Sheriff Bill Brown, students…and our hearts are heavy for the students & faculty left to process it all and the families who are left with such deep, deep loss. We’re just a quick 5 minute drive from where the shootings occurred…a place we visit often to go to our favorite taqueria “Freebirds”. On one hand, Isla Vista can feel like another world away as it is densely populated with UCSB and SB City College students and is known for crazy college parties but on the other hand it’s quite startling to stop and realize how integrated we are to the UCSB community…in addition to our frequent runs to Freebirds, one of our favorite stretches of beach (Campus Point) is in Isla Vista, Olivia plays Volleyball at UCSB and is coached by students, Rudy will go to summer school at Isla Vista elementary, the Alpha Phis (the sorority initially targeted by the shooter) volunteer at the Rescue Mission a couple of times a month, (etc, etc) and Liv was just on campus for a field trip Friday morning…it hits close to home literally and figuratively.
I have to admit, too, that I feel a heightened sense of (I’m not sure this is going to come out right) discouragement over these senseless killings. I really don’t mean to make this about me but I find it a little strange that my first emotional response is discouragement rather than feeling sad or even angry. I really think that since our family’s time, energy, resources and focus 24/7 are spent trying to preserve a life, it makes events like what happened in Isla Vista seem even more tragic to me. It’s a very complicated situation, I know, with so many variables and I don’t want to over-simplify it by any means…it’s just how I’m feeling today….disappointed and burdened.
Ironically, as all of this unfolded in Isla Vista, our big boys were in San Diego for a church youth conference at Pt. Loma University. They spent 4 days with 1500 other teens competing in a variety of fun events, worshipping God together, encouraging one another and having a blast. Wilson entered a preaching competition, Max always the sports enthusiast played hard at the sporting events and they both competed in a talent competition together – click here or here. (FUN!) So, as I had one eye on the local news coverage, my other eye (albeit teary eye) caught glimpses of what the boys and their friends were up to down south on FB…stark contrasting images indeed. It made me pray for those 1500 teens even harder…that the TRUTHS of life would root in their hearts, that they would know they are deeply LOVED no matter their circumstances and that they would CHERISH life – their own as well as purposing to make life better for others…
It feels a little weird to be plugging away at the daily schedule but there has been so much to fill our week this week…studying for finals, the DPHS Talent Show (Max ROCKED it), preparation for LP’s 6th grade promotion ceremony next week & Rudy’s graduation from Learning Tree as well as the big 6th grade dance TOMORROW! ‘So grateful for it all…
I got a sweet glimpse into Olivia’s mind through poems she wrote this year in her poem journal for school…my favorites are her preposition poem which describes the day Rudy came home from the hospital and the last stanza of her “I am from…” poem. A great reminder that “it’s all good”
Preposition Poem: My Baby Brother
(By Olivia Geyling)
“Inside the house
Until I see the car
Through the rain I run
By the bushes
Past the tree
To the car
In my arms
After a year
At his home
Below my eyes are tears
With my baby brother.”
Praying for peace and healing for our community tonight.