On Memorial Day morning, I got a message no parent ever expects to get. My eldest daughter, Cat, had been shot. There was a shooting in the apartment next to hers and some of the shots went through the wall and hit her. As quickly as I could, I got the to the ER. It was a couple of days that I won’t soon forget, days that have changed me.
But this post isn’t about what happened and the crisis and mess of “the incident.” The story that really needs to be told is the story of God’s grace before, during, and following it all. God’s goodness is what I can’t get over. My daughter’s life was supernaturally spared. The details of the incident, the location and concentration of the shots, the way it all went down – Cat is alive by the grace of God. I have no other way to explain it. I’m not sure law enforcement does either.
My work schedule this week – I had NOTHING on my schedule. No meetings, no phone calls, no necessary tasks to be done. It was going to be a catch up and get ahead week for me. God knew what was going to happen and in God’s grace, prepared my personal calendar so that I would be fully available to my daughter and her partner to help care for them, support them, and handle some logistics. God’s grace at work through scheduling.
And people. I’m still wrapping my head around how people have tangibly cared for us. Memorial Day evening, my college roommate and friend – WHO I HAVEN’T SEEN IN OVER 15 YEARS! – said she was getting on a plane and coming in to help. She only has ever met one of my kids. She lives in Minnesota. Her mom came with her. They flew in Tuesday, picked up pizza and ice cream for Bill’s birthday, hung out with tweens and teens until bedtime and then after as Bill and I went back up to the hospital. Spent all day Wednesday at my house as I was at the hospital. Picked up groceries and took kids to their activities (kids they had just met the day before). This generous gift of time and love is something I’m unaccustomed to. I even said to Bill “I don’t know what to do with this offer. I don’t know how to process it.” Bill’s response was God speaking to me “This is just one of those times you accept the gift of help and say thank you.” So to my friend Jess, THANK YOU. God’s grace at work through time.
In the midst of our messy Memorial Day was another generous gift of lawn care. I texted a friend whose son owns a lawn care business. I asked if we could get on the schedule so Bill didn’t have to think about mowing. It didn’t matter what it cost, it just needed done. That night, my friend and his son showed up weed eating and mowing and taking care of it all. And they left without taking even a piece of birthday cake. And y’all, the yard was a JUNGLE!! God’s grace at work through lawncare.
There have been people to Venmo us to help with gas/food, give gift cards to my daughter who they have never met, bring us lunch to the hospital, make meals for the whole crew of us (14 at one point!), pray for very specific behind the scenes needs, and check in on us all. God’s grace at work through food and finance.
I know my daughter’s physical recovery will be a journey. Her and her partner’s emotional recovery will be a journey too. She is alive and she is ok and they will be ok. I find myself so very grateful. I also find myself so very aware of the precious nature of this life. Too often I get bogged down in the daily stuff of life and the last few days have made me so very aware of the gift that life and love and friendship truly is. I know I take them for granted.
And I trust that through this all, God’s story is still being written. Still being written in us and through us. Still being written in the hearts of those who hear about what all has happened. Still being written in the hearts of those who have offered gifts of love.
And through it all, I am so very aware that God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good.