What Today Brings
This week I intended to write about the parade. The parade of history, tradition and glamour culminating in a promise of love and hope for a brighter future. Watching those two beautiful boys walk together in their shining uniforms, the boys who hailed from a rebel princess. Rebellious for honesty, rebellious for kindness, even rebellious for her own right to be loved. Princess Diana stood for all of these things and changed the world. Now her son Prince Harry has chosen his princess, the woman who will love and assist him as he continues his mother’s work and that of the Imperial family to which they belong.
What derailed this romantic vision of a new world was a more immediate threat to America, the surly teenager of the British Monarchy. To say we are going through growing pains is an understatement. Violence, racial tension and divisiveness in even the most gentle of households is at a high point. In light of another tragic high school shooting, I want to share an example of what it looks like to fight back and make a difference.
My best friend Juni has always been a solid rock of an example of how to move forward. Ever since we were ten years old, whatever life handed us, we simply accepted and got on with it. She is the mother of a kind and talented seventeen-year-old boy and a beautiful, spirited thirteen-year-old girl who is my goddaughter. She and her husband are raising their children in a lovely coastal town where there seems to be less violence than most places; nevertheless it still exists.
There is a troubled teen in the neighborhood that everyone is aware of. A 13-year-old who was expelled from the high school her kids attend but he still wanders the campus daily selling drugs. Juni feels sorry for the boy, his brother had cancer and while he is okay now, there is instability in his home and no one knows exactly where his parents are and who he lives with. Still, he is a blatant, vocal threat to the community posting regularly on Instagram, “Screw you (enter the town they live). More to come.” He shamelessly posts his drug dealing on the same social media site, “$25.00” He writes in front of a picture of pills, powders and potions. He even posted a video of the police at his door, “Come on put the phone down,” the cops said.
Juni and another mother called the principal and their local sheriff about the high school dance this weekend. They took a screen shot of the angry Instagram threats toward the town and requested police presence at the event. The authorities knew the teenager, but had yet to address that the large event could be a perfect opportunity for one such angry soul to vent his rage.
What happened next was something Juni never expected and something she would never let her daughter know about for her own safety. The high school dance was canceled. It was in the papers and in the news that the event had been scratched for security reasons. “Don’t mess with us!” She joked this morning. How in awe I am of parents who are so present in their children’s lives they take it upon themselves to be watchdogs in such dangerous times. They don’t leave it to an invisible force when they want their babies to come home and sleep in their beds safe and sound. So, they missed a dance. It may have been the only one of the year but when there is a predator ready to kill to rid himself of the pain he feels inside and has a weekly example on television of what he can do and get famous in the process, everyone should be on guard. There may always be violence, unhappy families and mentally disturbed people, but this trend of open fire is a disease this generation must deal with. Like cholera in the 1800s and AIDS in the 1980s, we have to be vigilant of this wild west system of gun fire. History will surely note these years when American teens took to their schools in record numbers to kill. Bless every parent, citizen and law enforcer who helps rid the country of this plague as quickly as possible.