I Live in Charleston. And, I Am Working on Forgiveness.

So, I have been MIA for a bit... again.   

A hectic summer schedule combined with my son's lack there of a schedule (i.e. no school), results in no sitting and thinking for Katie.   

Living in Charleston, SC... in the summer... is super hot; but, it's also pretty super and totally worth the heat.  Friends and family love to visit and we all take full advantage of the salty, shark-filled Atlantic Ocean; as well as the chlorine, kid-filled pools, in an attempt to stay cool.  Or, at least to avoid having a heatstroke.

My family recently had an amazing weeklong vacation here in June.  It was an absolutley great time with the exception of one terrible, horrible, tragic event.  We were there on June 17, 2015.  The date of the Charleston Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting.

I will always remember where I was on this date.  Just like I remember where I was on September 11,  2001.  I will always remember staring aghast at the news, engrossed in the updates with a weird numbing sense of disbelief.  It is sort of a surreal feeling... trying to process the enormity of what is occurring.  Is it real?  Am I dreaming?

Then you realize, it is real.  And, it is a nightmare.

That day, many people's lives were forever changed as a result of the actions of a coward, whom I will only refer to as that (and in lowercase at all times).

I will not mention his name, for two main reasons:

  1. His name is almost as stupid as his haircut.
  2. I hope everyone forgets his name so that he, as the soulless piece of pathetic shit that he is, will one day be forgotten.

That coward sat through a Bible study in a church and then shot 9 innocent people.  Wow.  Typing that was even weirder than saying it.  That actually happened.  Even if you never believed in Hell... I'd like to think that you are open to one now.

I have been trying to process the level of absolute ignorance that someone can possess.  How can people be so stupid and still be able to function enough on a daily basis to do something so evil?  It really is mind boggling.

I am not here though to rehash the devastaing events that happened on that heartbreaking day.  As amazed as I am at the level of cowardness and ignorance that one person can possess, I am more amazed at the monumental reactions of the victim's families, the people of this amazing city, and supporters everywhere.

The victim's families forgave him.  And, said that they hoped God forgave him.  Again, my mind- blown.  I had a lot of trouble processing this.  I did not see at the time, during the families statements at the coward's bond hearing, what they were really doing.  I was worried that maybe they all had suffered such a tragic event that they were not thinking correctly.  Because, I know I sure had a lot of other things that I wanted to say to him and about him at the time.

I now see what they did was for the greater good.  They saw the bigger picture.  They looked past the hate and did not let it win.  They tried to prevent what the coward set out to do.  And not only that- but, make the community go, hand in hand, into the complete opposite direction.  People were not fighting with one another and leading to the coward's hope of a "race war".  The families of the victims made this community stronger.

Over 20,000 people got together to hold hands across the Ravenel bridge to show their support and unity.

Ravenel Bridge Unity Chain

There were countless other outpourings of love that surrounded and supported these families.

Local surfer's at Folly Beach remembering the victims.

Heart formed from supporters at Marion Square.

From prayers, to songs, to poems, to bake sales, to donations, to flowers, to fundraisers... the support was incredible.  I hope that everyone outside of Charleston saw all the good things that were and still are occurring in Charleston.

I have my serious doubts though, because a lot of the news crews packed up when they saw we were not going to become "another Baltimore".  Because, hey- peace and love do not make for good ratings.

Not all news outlets stopped reporting when the hate started dwindling.  I cannot appreciate enough this "amazing new phenomenon" of showing positive outcomes that arise from a negative scenario.  And, actually really focusing on those positives, rather than on the coward.  Highlighting the togetherness and support one human can show another, not focusing on the damage that can be done. We know how evil humanity can be.  We don't need to be constantly reminded of it.  We need to be reminded that good still exists.

I was also thankful to see the victims making the front page of a newspaper and not the coward's soulless scowl staring back at me.  I don't want to see him.  And, I sure as hell don't want to know about him.  I want to know about the warm, inviting people that welcomed that poor creature into their place of worship.

Front page of The Post and Courier

People, good people, lost their lives that day because of one imbecile.  I don't know if I can ever forgive him as well as the victim's families did.  However, I have tried and will continue to try.  My husband thinks that I should start the process by no longer referring to him as the coward.  Ugh.  Sigh.  I will try.

My motivation

Until I can manage forgiveness, I will continue trying to forget him to the best of my ability and focus my energy on the day that Charleston came together and became an even greater city.

May we never forget the 9 people that lost their lives that day: Clementa Pinckney, Sharonda Singleton, Tywanza Sanders, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Cynthia Hurd, Myra Thompson, Daniel Simmons Sr. and DePayne Middleton Doctor.

Their names are the ones that matter.

As for the one I am trying to forgive and forget, I hope that one day he will simply be remembered as "that guy who tried to start something evil in Charleston and got shut down by the whole damn town."


Man, I love this city,