my mother, sister, niece and nephew walked out of the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora.
When I woke up this morning and heard the news, "massive killing in Aurora, Colorado movie theater" I froze for a second. I had talked to my mother in the afternoon and she told me they were thinking about going to the movies, but decided to have pizza instead.
So I didn't worry. They didn't go to the movies. They'd be OK.
Still, I called my sister for good measure. They had, indeed, gone to see "Ice Age," to the 8 p.m. show. There were dozens of young people already lined up to see "Dark Knight." Like most movies in the United States, the Century 16 in Aurora is always filled with families and joy.
My sister even considered staying for the premiere of such a talked about film, but my five-year-old nephew is a bit restless. They got home nearly at midnight, just as the gunman was gunning down dozens of people at the theater where they'd just been.
Like most people in the country, I've been gripped by the story, but with an added concern. It could have been my family. It could have been me. And I shudder. Right now, there are dozens of families whose lives have been shattered wondering why.
Then again, we don't have to go that far to see a dozen families whose lives have been changed forever by senseless violence. Already 14 people have been killed so far this year in Salinas, our own back yard.
They all could have been members of our families. They all could have been us. My heart is gripped by terror just thinking about it, and my prayers go to those who couldn't escape it.