I can remember exactly where I was when the news came on television and showed high school kids running for their lives out of a building in Colorado. I was sitting at my desk on my computer working on a paper for my college humanities class. I remember feeling numb and helpless as I watch these kids crying and screaming. I remember feeling so confused on why this was happing. I think it hit so close to home because it was 1999 and I had graduated in 1996. This could have been my school!
As the days, months and years went on, I still thought about those kids. Rachel Scott to be exact. For some reason she left a deep impression in my heart. Her story was so inspiring. She had a gift of sharing God's word in the most beautiful way. I truly believe that she knew her purpose before she lost her life that day. She was known for writing in her journal and addressing the entries to God. (You can read more about Rachel's story here.) As time went on, there were more and more quotes released from her. As the internet grew more over the years, she was the one I would look up to learn more about. My heart always ached for all these kids lives. However, reading more about Rachel's short journey gave me peace knowing that they all truly were in heaven.
Before my family and I moved to Colorado, we took a week to visit the area and try to find a new place to call home. We knew that we wanted to live outside of Denver, but not exactly sure where. My daughter and I decided to drive around and check out houses and the local schools. That lead us to Columbine. I can't really explain how I felt thinking my daughter Skylar could potentially start high school at this very school that was imprinted in my heart. I spent lots of time telling Skylar about that day and how I remembered it. We both agreed that there was no way we could leave the area without paying our respects to all the victims.
It was cold that day. It was cloudy and gloomy. But as we walked up to the memorial it was breath taking and beautiful. It was quiet. You could hear the wind and nothing else. I am a firm believer that taking a "selfie" at a memorial is completely disrespectful but I did bring my camera so I could document this memorial the way I saw it that day. My eyes were heavy with tears and my daughter offered me a few hugs. I couldn't believe that we were here. All these years later and I finally had the opportunity to pay my respects to these brave kids. KIDS. I can't believe they never had the chance to grow up. I trust that God has a plan for all us. I believe that they live on through us all and that is why I had to share this.
(For those wondering, we did not move to Littleton, although it is a beautiful town.)
Due to my emotions, I did not capture everyone's name. I plan on going back to make sure they are added. I didn't realize it until that evening. Reading the quotes was the hardest part. Now that I am a parent, this hits me so much more than when I was a kid. I will let the pictures do the rest.