A Time for Everything…

“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;”

(deep sigh)


Monday morning the news of the tragic Vegas shooting knocked me to the floor inside. I lay there heart pounding , staring at the sky; the clouds inside my mind (that is) of wonder.

What is this country coming to? Why is this happening? What next? Are we at war? Should we make a plan?

Questions were flooding me as I flashed back to Thurston High School; 1998; standing 10 yards down the dark breezeway from a small kid in a trench coat. He opened fire into a group and I watched a large boy hit the cement. My mind was frozen in shock as I stopped in my tracks to fathom what had just taken place. Did a fire cracker sound off in the courtyard? Senior elections were happening  ; maybe a prank. I couldn’t see what was in his hands; again; the hallway was pretty dark.


Gunfire was the last thing to cross my mind. I didn’t see him shoot. I seen the effect of the shot and a group of kids scattered away from the Sophomore lying on the floor. A fight? I still could not put the pieces together. But there he was; plain as day; Kip Kinkel in a trench coat flinging the side door to the cafeteria wide open. He never turned back to look at me. He never turned the gun on me; though he had opportunity in front of him. Petrified I guess; However I still can’t tell you, to this day, why my fight and flight had me sitting like a duck. Why didn’t I respond? Why did I just stand there? Was I a coward? Could I have done more to help the situation? I watched him begin to fire shots into the heavily crowded cafeteria. Screams of horror and High School kids began to trample each other in their panicked attempt to get out of that building.

How did I get away? When did my senses kick in? They did not kick in when it mattered most… Instead My friend jerked me out of my skin and darn near drug me down the hallway. I must have been in shock. My legs felt like jello and the backpack behind me was  like carrying heavy boulders. I clumsily ran down the hall; my friend screaming and crying ; dragging me along.

“Slowdown Freshmen” a senior rolled his eyes and said, laughing over his shoulder. I found my voice, “It’s not funny! theres a gunman! Don’t go that way.” Next thing I know I was piling into a random car along with many kids I didn’t know. Screaming, crying , panic all around me; my tongue would not work; my face was dry and hot; my eyes were wide and I wished it all would quiet down.

Frankly, that is how I feel this week.

That is how I feel today.

I wish it all would quiet down.

Is that selfish?

It just might be.

However, I believe  each one of us has our own survival instincts.

Mine is screaming for peace; clarity; the ability to discern.

Screaming for a break…or a peeling away. I ask myself why not? Maybe I’m not the only one who feels this way.

The need to evaluate.

To observe.

To meditate.

To resolve.

To accept.

To take inventory.

We are all affected in different ways. But one thing is certain I’m sure.

Love is greater than fear.

Yet Love seems to Hide when the darkness closes in.

It is up to each one of us to ignite the flame; to search and dig as deep as we never knew we were capable of digging.

I will not be on the air for lunch today , nor tomorrow morning. I am taking some space to organize my thoughts.

Prayers going out to all victims and their families right now.

Love and Respect,

Jeri James






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