Her Change of Focus for the Sake of Aurora Colorado

24 Jul, 2012 at 10:00 am | Written by: Heather Riggleman

I burn my fingers as I pull the pan of stuffed veggies out of the oven in the midst of deciphering the battle cries from the family room in the basement. As I arrange supper onto a platter, I holler down the stairs, “Tori, Lijah, up stairs. NOW!”

Momentarily the screeches of injustice stop as I begin gathering evidence to decide the fate of the feuding siblings.

“Tori took my truck,” Elijah pouts.

“He hit me,” Tori replies.

My girls decorating their 'new house'

Normally on days like today, I would play attorney, gathering and refuting the facts and then act as judge, handing out sentences of chores; but today is different. Today I woke up to several of my close friends whose family members had been in that movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Irritated by the media saturating the news about the shooter, I focus my attention and prayers on the families. It won’t bring thier family members back but its a way to honor how precious their lives were.

I want to remember those who lost their lives and it reminds me yet again, how short life is—how precious it is. As a teen, I never thought I wanted a family, nor did I truly understand the gift of my five siblings until I left my mama’s home and began experiencing the world on my own. Mistakes and life lessons paint my memories—but each I am thankful for because of where I am now and who I am surrounded by.

Hands on my hips, I  look at my kids, knowing they do not understand the gift they’ve been given in family, “You are all each other has. When you grow up, only you two will be there for each other. You have a choice, either stay angry or apologize and play together.”

My son giggling over a joke his little sister made.

Both can tell there is something different about my demeanor today; instead of pressing their luck and with pouty faces; they hug.Each kiddo apologizes to the other, each offering the other their toys. And my thoughts drift back to Kim Anderson, her daughter Petra was shot four times and is in critical condition. Out of the 70 victims shot,another mother grieves the loss of her six-year-old daughter—her only child.

There is no point in questioning why bad things happen in this world, there is no reason to plaster the shooter all over the news; instead I choose to hug my babies even closer and see life for what it is—a precious gift to spend time with those we love. Ask the weeks wear on and the media continues to cover the shooter, I will choose to pray and think of the families and reflect on what I’ve been given like the moments captured in time in the photos above.

Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.
– Brad Henry 

What about you? In the midst of the tragedies, what do you focus on? 

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3 Comments

  1. July 24, 2012

    I have always had a strong sense of family. Growing up on a ranch it took ALL of us working together to get things done.

    I am 8 hours north west of home and Sister is 5 hours north east of from home. I miss my family like crazy. Just talking face to face and doing little things together makes a huge difference.

    I don’t like all the coverage the shooting and shooter is getting either. I do think it is OK that the media makes the victims real people through showing pictures and telling personal details about them. All of the lost lives are tragic. I also think it’s terrible that 3 Navy men were killed.

    Reply
    • July 24, 2012

      I think its really sad too. To know that we are capable of taking another life. It angers me to see the news cover the shooter, glorifying him and creating the possibility of copy cats. With that said, I think the media needs to cover the families–to tell of the dreams, aspirations, and how those who died were making a difference.
      Family. What a sweet, SWEET word it is.

      Reply
  2. Jennie
    July 24, 2012

    I H.A.T.E. the coverage of the killer.
    I truely believe that it encourages others. It makes the killlers infamous. And I don’t believe the argument that knowing information about the killer helps us avoid these issues in the future. I don’t think there is a profile for these guys. The only thing they share is a disconnect. They don’t understand that they are killing PEOPLE – real, life people.

    As a former TV news producer I know why they focus on the killer. They would tell you the above argument. But I think the real reason is that it is super easy. The police and lawyers release information about the killer. The vicitms on the other hand are VERY difficult to talk to. Most don’t even want TV stations calling. They’d rather be left alone to recover. (And I understand why.) But it is HARD to get information about the victims.

    However, the media needs to focus more on the victims. Make them REAL. There is a disconnect for some reason for all of these killers. That needs to end. If the media focused more on the deaths of the innocent and stopped plastering the face of the kller everywhere it would be much less appealing. Show his face and say his name for a day. From that point forward, refer to him as ‘the accused’ or the ‘accused killer’. Don’t show his mug. Maybe interview his family after a week to discuss how it could have been stopped (but again, don’t show his picture.)

    In this particular case, I’m afraid this guy is a SUPER smart guy. I think he has the tools to have committed this crime and get away it. He knows how to appear crazy. He’s been studying crazy people his whole life. I think he planned and committed this crime to prove that he could get away with it. That’s really scary.

    Reply

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