Escaping Washington

From the Navy Yard Shooting, to the Government Shutdown to the shooting at the U.S. Capitol today, I can’t help but feel like we escaped Washington, D.C. just in time.

It’s weird living on an island in the middle of the Pacific, 6 hours behind the east coast; especially after living inside the Beltway and watching CNN the 8 hours I was at work everyday. I’ve been in this blissful little bubble, mostly ignorant to the current events. My priorities have changed considerably as my primary focus is now (where it should be) on my son. Occasionally I catch pieces of The Today Show, but by the time I see it, any news they report is 6 hours old, and their news reporting isn’t really that good anyhow.

It’s usually a phone call or a text from somebody that alerts me to what’s going on. This morning I was walking out the door with Tristan, ready to spend the morning at the beach, when I got a text from my mom: Have you seen the news? Shooting at Capitol Hill. Perhaps a CP was shot.

My heart immediately sank. I walked back to the living room and turned on CNN to see what was going on. At that point the story was just breaking and they didn’t have a lot of details yet. I had a fussy toddler so we continued with our plans. We spent the morning building sand castles and splashing in the water, but my mind was on my friends in D.C.

When we came home for lunch I turned CNN on again and was immediately greeted with images of the Capitol and the car chase. It was when I saw USCP officers that I recognized and would call friends that the tears welled up. I haven’t quite felt the same since.

There’s no question that Washington has been a hot mess over the past few weeks (debatably longer, but this isn’t a political post). Shane and I had discussed on numerous occasions our worries that time was ticking for the Capitol, probably a top terrorist target in the country. We’ve watched Congress flounder over the last few years as they’ve been unable to agree on a budget of any kind. When we were buying our house just a couple years ago we were under constant threat of furlough every couple weeks and weren’t sure if our financing would be approved. We are both very aware that if we were still in D.C. right now we would be furloughed and for who knows how long.

We feel so blessed that we were able to see our dream of moving to Hawaii through. We know this is the right course for us and we are so grateful to be surrounded by family and for me to be with Tristan everyday instead of taking him to daycare. I’m also thankful that a majority of my friends were not at work today, due to the shutdown. Still, it almost feels like survivor’s guilt to know that we have left behind many good friends and people we respect – especially U.S. Capitol Police who show up and do their job regardless of their pay status.

I’m probably extra emotional about today’s events knowing full well my husband is training to be a police officer. I pray that the officer injured today is doing well. I certainly pray that Shane will not be injured – or worse – in the line of duty. I am so grateful for the men and women who show up and put themselves in harms way each and every day in order to protect the public. I have been blessed by the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police who every day did their job and protected me for over 5 years.

It’s just difficult to watch these events unfold from such a distance, knowing we could’ve been heavily impacted had we stayed.

To all our friends in D.C. – we’re sending you much aloha and praying you all find peace in these difficult times.

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