april 20th, 1999

gray wall with windows with silver frame
Photo by Scott Webb on Pexels.com

A single shot ringing down the halls,

To mark the moment when there was an end

To life before, and something new begins,

It’s something ugly, twisted out of shape,

But new can’t always mean it’s clean or ‘nice’

Or any other name that’s pleasant to the ear.

Sometimes new is violent, a warning shot

That whistles through the stagnant air

And pierces flesh too young to die,

It’s ugly just like you and I.

I’m reading a book about Columbine High School at the moment and it’s fascinating in that way that humans seem to find the grotesque and violent so very interesting.

I was about fourteen when the shooting happened so I would have been around the same age as the younger students that were in that school. I think that similarity makes the whole thing seem so much more real to me, and even though I’m in the UK, I still feel sick to the stomach thinking ‘what if?’ when I watch the footage and read the accounts.

One thing that really strikes me about the stories that come out of tragedies like this, is that uncertainty about life and when it will end. We are awfully fragile beings and it only takes a mistake or plain bad luck to have today being your last.

I was watching an account by one students who said that he was driving into school with his sister and they were having an argument. He slammed the door as he got out, not realising that it would be the last time he ever saw her alive.

The fact that he was recounting that twenty years later shows that it’s still something that eats him up and I can’t imagine the pain he must feel every single day of his life. He wasn’t to know, but then none of us know. Reading these accounts has made me very mindful that I shouldn’t go to bed angry and I should always tell Noah and my dad that I love them. Make sure you tell your people the same thing.

Much Love

Rachel xx

5 thoughts on “april 20th, 1999

    1. patientandkindlove

      It also puts things into perspective when you are feeling a bit glum. You realise that for this very moment you should be glad that everyone is alive and well….because that could change in an instant.

  1. Greg Dennison

    Thanks for sharing. So true.

    My stories about that day are interesting, considering what I was doing on that day, and also that there was something else tragic that happened just hours later (it wouldn’t have been in your book, because that wasn’t big enough to go beyond local media, but it was important in my life). I’ll write about that day eventually when I get there in my blog.

    1. patientandkindlove

      I think that the personal stories around big events are just as important as the event itself. I love hearing people’s memories of what they were doing when they heard about the Twin Towers because it adds so much more colour to the events. It can sometimes even put some joy and happiness into what would otherwise be a terrible day.

  2. clcouch123

    I think you’re right about “something new begins,” meaning not only that it’s lives that end but also that remaining lives will be different from now on. You’re right, of course, about the fragility of life. How easily it is taken away or drastically changed.

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