As I sit here this morning drinking my tea I reflect on my emotions from this past weekend; anger, fear, sadness and anxiety. It’s Monday morning and the kids are rushing to get ready for school. This morning was different though. I didn’t feel the sense of urgency to get my kids out the door. I wanted them to stay home. But I am a realist. They needed to be in school. I heard my older son ask “what’s for breakfast?” My answer…. “CAKE”! They laughed and kept looking for something to eat. Once again I tell them that they can have cake for breakfast and they soon realize I am serious. The smiles were priceless.

Why would I feed my children cake for breakfast? Well, I need to take this story back a few years. It started with a bomb threat. In the fall of 2013 my sons’ middle school was turned upside down for about 2 weeks. I remember getting the first automated message that the school had a bomb threat that morning and the sheriffs’ department was on site. I didn’t hold too much stock in the threat. I thought to myself that someone was stirring up trouble, avoiding a test or seeking attention. The threat was written on the bathroom wall. As expected, the school was clear and students returned to class. Over the next few weeks it continued. Every other day was another threat. The students were evacuated and the school was searched repeatedly to no avail. It became a real nuisance.

As you can imagine parents were growing tired of the disruption and using Facebook to vent these frustrations. I continuously read how horrible the parents of these children must be. How they lacked attention and discipline. I was dumbfounded at the lack of concern for these families. They instantly were crucified before they were identified. Everyone placed judgement on the parents. I understand that our children are a reflection of us. But in return we are a reflection of our past as well. It’s a cycle. But in some cases the cycle cannot be broken based on the life skills each person is given.

I like to think that each of us is given our own tool box to survive in life. Some of us have really awesome tools and some of us have the only tools our parents could afford. As we judge these families we neglect to identify that maybe the parents were not fortunate enough to have the high end tools that we were blessed with. Maybe they are a reflection of their parents and they are doing everything they can to fill their box but are falling short. I admit there are parents that leave their tools in the rain to rust. But just maybe they were never taught how valuable these tools are.

Eventually the children that were calling in the bomb threats were caught and our community was back to the day to day events. About a week ago we received another call that said there was a bomb threat at the middle school. Jaded from the events of 2013, I didn’t put much value on the call. I even had a friend who was new to the school call and express concern. I explained to her the events of 2013 and blew it off. The next day another threat was made. “Here we go again” I thought. Fortunately by weeks end nothing else was said regarding the matter.

Then this happened. Over the weekend I was catching up on Facebook and came across multiple posts about two students at my daughters’ high school that were arrested for a credible threat to our students and faculty. These threats were legit. The news is currently reporting that two boys had plotted to call in a bomb threat to the high school and when everyone was evacuated from the building they were going to open fire on them.

I’m speechless.

I am having anxiety wrapping my head around the “what ifs.” I live in walking distance from the school. My daughter goes to this school. My community goes to this school. And it was going to start with a bomb threat. A previous threat that I didn’t hold much value in.

As reporters and news vans are in front of the school today I think about the families of these young boys. The events of the past week will spark debates on gun control, law enforcement protocols and parental responsibility. We want answers on how to avoid these potential tragedies. I just ask as we seek answers we wait to pass judgement. We may never really understand what causes a child to kill. We can state the obvious and assume the worst. But we should also look at the families behind these situations and see how we, as a community, can help them or other families who are having trouble filling their tool boxes.

So I ask you to hug your kids a little tighter today. Take advantage of the little opportunities to make them smile. For us it was cake for breakfast.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Kathy Rau

Kathy is raising four beautiful children with her husband, Mark. She loves living in the historic area of Fredericksburg, VA. For over 20 years, Kathy has been a Licensed Veterinary Technician and currently works part time in emergency and radioiodine medicine. Kathy runs a small business called Your Girl Friday, FXBG. Kathy has been blogging for less then a year but loves to share her stories. She has been published on Her View From Home, The Mighty, America Adopts and has had a variety of other guest posts. Her niche is Motherhood, Friendship and Adoption. You can find Kathy at: www.yourgirlblogs.com IG: krau67 Twitter: @kathyrau Facebook: Your Girl Blogs.

You’ve been Gone a Year, So Why Does It Feel Like Yesterday?

In: Grief, Loss
Old photo of mother hugging her young daughter, color photo

In February, you will have been gone a year. How is that right? It was just yesterday. I still remember the day we got the diagnosis. One I knew was coming but still prayed wasn’t true. I still remember promising you that everything was going to be okay, and knowing that it wasn’t. I still remember the first time I saw you and thought to myself, “The dementia is moving too fast.” It was just yesterday. I still feel your hand in mine as I sat next to you in the hospital bed. You were talking and humming along while...

Keep Reading

God Redeemed the Broken Parts of My Infertility Story

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two young children walking on a path near a pond, color photo

It was a Wednesday morning when I sat around a table with a group of mamas I had just recently met. My youngest daughter slept her morning nap in a carrier across my chest. Those of us in the group who held floppy babies swayed back and forth. The others had children in childcare or enrolled in preschool down the road. We were there to chat, learn, grow, and laugh. We were all mamas. But we were not all the same. I didn’t know one of the mom’s names, but I knew I wanted to get to know her because she...

Keep Reading

Growing Slowly around the Grief of Losing Your Mom

In: Grief, Loss
Sad woman sitting on couch with folded arms

Everyone has heard about the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Society often assumes the stages of grief happen in order, but those who encounter grief know that’s not true. Undergoing grief can feel like riding a rollercoaster blindfolded—disorienting and chaotic. There are numerous ups, downs, and twists you wouldn’t anticipate. Grief is like an ocean. When waves come crashing, it feels like you’re being swept away. Regardless of their size, waves are always rough. Despite everything, you also get pushed forward to the shore after every wave. Sometimes, you may feel like you are drowning...

Keep Reading

The Shattering Grief of Suicide

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Sad person sitting in darkened hallway, black and white image

Navigating through my second Christmas without my dad, the weight of grief seemed even heavier this year. In fact, everything felt and looked different to me. As I unwrapped the ornaments and cards he gave me over the years, a tidal wave of madness and sadness engulfed me. I know many feel sadness and grieve during these times, but let me just say . . . suicide is a different type of grief. My vibrant, happy, physically fit dad committed suicide on April 30th, 2022. There, I said it. In the aftermath, a myriad of emotions consumed me. One perplexing...

Keep Reading

Dear Dad, Maybe You’re the Bird

In: Grief, Loss
Young girl sitting on father's lap, older color photo

Maybe you’re the bird. The one I see outside my door. The one who flies so low it seems you’re somehow weighted down. Like you’re carrying more than just yourself. Like you’re carrying a message. Just for me. Maybe you’re the rain. The sound I hear that reminds me so much of home. Of you. Of driving in your car as a little girl when you looked over and asked my opinion about everything. When you made someone so small feel so very big. RELATED: Dad Left a Legacy in Fried Green Tomatoes Maybe you’re the butterfly. The one I...

Keep Reading

I Hope You Never Know What it’s Like to Forget Who You Are

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Woman staring at camera, black-and-white photo

I write best when I’m passionate. It’s always been my release. But lately, I’ve struggled to write. I’ve struggled to find purpose in my words. It’s all been twisted and choppy, not a bit poetic or beautiful. These feelings are what the struggles of loss, parenting, work, and marriage push against. It’s finding yourself over and over again and trying to make sense of the senseless. It leaves you questioning most things and leaves you feeling broken with no idea how to put yourself or others back together. I hope you never know. I hope you never know what it’s...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Know How to Live Without My Sister, But I Must

In: Grief
Sisters smiling in posed color photo

I’ve spent a year of my life living in a haze. Holding my breath, afraid to exhale. Focusing on staying in this frozen moment where there is no reality. I pressed the pause button. Pumped the brakes. I’ll stay right here and wait for my life, life as I knew it, life as I loved it, to come back around. Where there is no future to mourn, thinking about the way it should have been and no torturous past to remember, recalling the horror of that day. The special occasions that will come are now outlined in sadness. Wait, she’s...

Keep Reading

6 Ways to Be a Friend to Someone Grieving

In: Friendship, Grief, Loss
Friends hugging

Grief can truly be such a lonely experience after you lose a loved one. The loneliness isn’t necessarily because you don’t have anyone around you. It’s because only you had your relationship with the person who died, and it’s hard to find anyone to replace that. I have first-hand experience. My mom died recently and unexpectedly at the age of 62 and I at the age of 34, and it single-handedly has been one of the most painful experiences of my life. However, having support from family and friends will help you navigate this difficult time. Without it, the loneliness...

Keep Reading

These Final Gifts from My Mom Are Hard to Let Go

In: Grief, Loss
Little girls boots with worn toes, color photo

My daughter wobbled toward me in silver, square-toed go-go boots, one heel dislodged and flopping against our hallway’s faux wood floor. On her opposite foot, a striped sock peaked curiously through the growing toe hole. “Mama,” she said. Her tiny voice raised another octave, “My shoe!” I sighed, then sat on the floor. Waves of grief washed over me as I contemplated what kind of glue might capably reconstruct the shoe’s sole. Elmer’s glue? Textile glue? Maybe Krazy Glue? I knew the boots should just go into the bin. And yet, they—along with a vibrant, overbearing cat dress that would...

Keep Reading

A Daughter Is Never Ready To Let Her Dad Go

In: Grief, Loss
Grown daughter hugging older man

I wasn’t ready to let you go. When I was a little girl, one of my greatest fears was that something would happen to my parents. If they had to go somewhere, I would nervously follow their route in my mind, mentally noting where they probably were and when they should be back home. If they hadn’t returned by the time I thought they should, my imagination would get the best of me as I pictured a thousand things that could have happened. But the day I sat having a late breakfast at my kitchen table and saw an ambulance...

Keep Reading