Tonight, I’m gonna get on an eastbound airplane and go back home. Aleisha, Isaiah, and I were slated to be camp counselors with Mike next week at the ministry where he’s serving for a year. That was yesterday morning. Yesterday afternoon I went to Walmart and bought a watch for camp. Yesterday night they bought us tickets to the funeral of Mike’s best friend. We’re only buying two tickets – so it feels like maybe we’re cheating the airline. The amount of weight we’re dragging down the tarmac and into the cabin will far exceed our carry-on items.
It’s seven twenty four a.m. here in Arizona. I just woke up from a dream in which our friend had died and we were all trying to figure out what to do. And then Brandon called me from back home. And no matter how hard I tried to snap out of it, the nightmare didn’t end. We’re three hours behind the Carolinas, so I presume that scene has been playing out over and over in bedrooms all over Oconee county. The nightmare will not end.
Last night we were leaving our apartment for worship band practice when we were bombarded with calls, texts, questions, speculation. It’s funny how we demonize reporters for spreading a story before they have the facts straight. When something big enough happens, hardly anyone is above that. People from different states, old friends, everybody’s grasping. Did you hear? Are you by yourself? What did they say? Is it true? I’ll call you back. Pandemonium. Shock. Wildfire.
We gathered in the back yard at Caleb and Stephany’s house. And sat on blankets under a tree – crying, praying, staring at the airplanes flying out of Phoenix. They brought back some tacos.
I had to think of that that old Caedmon’s Call song, “Hold the Light.”
Standing round a willow weeping,
We were praying in the backyard,
In the chill of the night the friendship light
Reminded me, who we are,
Will you hold the light for me,
We called our parents and made some arrangements. Isaiah and Aleisha will stay here in Arizona so that the kids can have counselors at camp. Mike and I will fly out tonight around midnight. We finally came home, exhausted. I sat at the kitchen table with a pen and did all I knew to do. It was called “holes.”