Very early this morning a casual friend of mine emailed and asked me to call her. She and I are both members of the same online stenciling group. We have emailed extensively over the years and have even talked on the phone, but we've never met face-to-face. She lives near the university where my son goes to school, but in the few times I've been in the area we haven't had time to "catch up" in person.
I called her and she told me how she had just heard on the news that there was a gunman loose near the university. The South Campus, where the dorms are, was in lock-down mode. She was hoping I could call my son and tell him to stay put, wherever he was.
Do you know what happens to a mother's heart when she hears something like that? It stops. I tried calling my son's cell, no answer. I left an email message. I kept trying the cell. I finally called the university Public Safety office - they told me about the lock-down and that no students had been hurt. No students hurt. Take a deep breath. But where is he? Is he someplace safe? I called a dean's office and the secretary informed me that a suspicious man had been seen in the residential area across from South Campus at 3:30 am. The police came to investigate and the gunman shot ten rounds at them. Public Safety was notified and the South Campus went into lock-down at about 4 am. Take another breath. Chances are he was in the dorm asleep, at the time of lock-down - meaning he was still in the dorm.
I finally heard his groggy voice at about 10:30 am. Breathe again. He had not answered the phone because he had been asleep. Yes, college students can pretty much sleep through anything, even emergency phone calls from mom every ten minutes. My son's roommate had an early morning class but was soon back in the dorm room after being stopped by the lock-down - they had all gone back to sleep.
I found out that back-up was called after the gunman fired on the local police - along with a SWAT team and K-9 units. They never found the gunman. My son called later in the afternoon and told me not to worry, everything was back to normal. Maybe for him.
Several weeks ago The Rev. Dr. Kate posted a a wonderful blog entry on proverbs, quotations and maxims, called Words of Wisdom. I have just the one for today:
"Making the decision to have a child--it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." - Elizabeth Stone