Sunday, March 25, 2018

Slice #25- I needed to be there.

So I'm going to be honest.

I almost didn't go.

It was the first Saturday of spring break.

I woke up early.

I went to Weight Watchers.

I went to dog training.

I got home around noon.

I had lots of reasons not to go.

As soon as I walked in the front door, my sons started asking when I was going to the grocery store.

And I have promised myself I am not going to diddle away this break.

I am going to finish my taxes and get them sent off.

I am going to do some serious house cleaning.

And car cleaning.

I would have to go alone.

I hadn't made a sign.

And yet, I knew I needed to be there.

It's expensive to park downtown, so I looked up the bus schedule.

The bus would be at a corner two blocks away in 20 minutes.

I put on my tennis shoes and headed out the door.

When I got to the bus stop, I discovered that route was temporarily discontinued, because there is a paving project.

I needed to walk eight more blocks to catch another bus.

I considered going home.

And yet I knew I needed to be there.

I walked to the next stop.

Waited twenty minutes for the bus.

It was packed.

And hot.

And smelled bad.

I got to Civic Center Park just before the March started.

Organizers estimated that there were 100,000 people.

We listened to speech after speech after speech.

A father who lost his son at Columbine.

A woman whose father, a teacher, was killed at Columbine.

Her ten-year-old son, the grandson of the teacher killed at Columbine.

A young man who had been in the theater during the Aurora Theater shooting.

A mother whose only son was supposed to be at the Aurora Theater but changed his plans at the last minute when his friend had to work late.

Three college kids who lost a friend during the Arapahoe High School shooting.

A ten-year-old girl who began having panic attacks after a false lockdown alarm at her school.

And Maddie, a student who was at Stoneman Douglas, hiding in the corner of a classroom during the shooting.

And then we marched through downtown Denver.

White people. Black people. Brown people.

Old people and teens and babies in strollers.

All together because we are America.

And things need to change.

I am glad I went.

I needed to be there.


Adrienne said...

I needed to be there, too. A beautiful depiction of a powerful day.

Morgan said...

I was left in suspense about your destination and thought for a minute that it was the grocery store that you were avoiding. (I know that feeling.) Then you said you hadn't made a sign and I thought maybe you meant "list" but I went back to see if I missed anything. Then I thought you must live somewhere urban and I couldn't imagine taking the bus to the grocery store. All the signs were there; you gave me every clue and then I realized you live in my town and that you went to the heart of our city and I read and reread the lines about the march. I am proud to share this space on earth with you! Thank you for such a beautiful slice that gave way to a beautiful experience for me as your reader.

elsie said...

What an emotional day it was! Let's hope this will spark a change. I applaud you going and fighting the crowds.

Karen said...

I'm so glad you went, Carol. Through several moments of adversity, you persevered and were there. I regret that I didn't show up, but I'm so inspired by all those that did.
A perfect writing format to portray the experience.

Diane Anderson said...

All together because we are America. I love that so much and want it to be true for many, many more.

Anonymous said...

I love how you shared all your thoughts about not going, and then your experience of going. I went to a march in Massachusetts and was really glad to have gone. It's fun to hear about the marches in so many different places!

Dani said...

What a powerful experience for you. I was traveling and could not attend a March. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

Tamara said...

I'm glad you were there. My son was also there, texting me about how amazing it was to march with so many like-minded people. He hooked up with a group of teachers from out of town. He and his buddy ended up showing them around Denver hot spots after. It made my mom heart happy to think of this bright spot in the midst of so much pain.

Ramona said...

Oh, Carol, I'm glad you went too. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. This is a moving slice.