The Starving Activist is the sometimes-home for words. AR Neal (that’s me) finds them, cultivates them, and leaves them here. Enjoy.

This Time, It's My Hometown

What the news media are describing as the second worst mass shooting in our nation happened today.In my town, San Bernardino, CA. Here is a link to the NPR story.I was half-listening to whatever was on television and my uncle called:

What are you all doing?

Huh? I asked.

Girl, turn on the news -- a mass shooting in San Bernardino!

I have not turned it off yet. Fourteen people killed and many more injured. One suspect injured, another killed, another on the loose.The location where this happened is near where my husband and I volunteer. It is also the location of the local Regional Center, which offers services to individuals with special needs like cerebral palsy and autism.My son is a client. He lives in a different county and was not on site.His case manager's office is there.The team that evaluated him and approved him for services a couple years ago are there.I sent an email to his case manager, who is often out in the field, to find out if she is okay. I have not heard back but hope that I will. She has a large case load and since my son is an adult, I don't hear from her a lot.My heart is heavy as our country goes through this experience again.Call me selfish but it hits a little harder because this time, it is my hometown. I was not born here, but it's home now. It's a lovely place at the foot of mountains and at the mouth to the desert and the sea (well, you have to take a couple highways to get to the ocean, but it's possible -- we are about an hour from skiing, surfing, or complete desert and only a few hours from Las Vegas or Phoenix).It will be a lovely place, after this.But for so many, it will never be lovely.Just like in all the other places where people do harm to other people.Please, take a moment to hug your loved ones, even if it's via the telephone. Don't do a text, don't send an email. Hear their voices, touch their flesh.One man was interviewed because his wife works at the Inland Regional Center. After answering all the questions about what she experienced, what she said when she called him to tell him what was going on, and where she was at that moment, a reporter asked him what he was going to do when he saw her. His response was, "I'm going to hug her."I cried, along with the reporters.Go, hug your loved ones. Hold them close.Call them. Tell them you love them.Spread love so this sort of thing will stop happening.Spread love so you won't be the next one, telling the story of it happening in your hometown.

The Day After

November 30: Time to Be Movin' On