From ashes to beauty


It happened again last week.  Another senseless school shooting.  This one was on our side of Washington State at Marysville-Pilchuck High School around 10:30 in the morning last Friday.  I was away from the television and computer until late in the afternoon.  When I turned on the television our local channels were all still covering the tragedy.  A 14 or 15 year old Freshman (who had been voted to his school's homecoming court the previous week) opened fire in his high school cafeteria shooting five of his friends.  FRIENDS.  He apparently stopped to reload and was confronted by a young, first year, female teacher (HERO) and then security before taking his own life.  He and one female student dead. Four others (two males, who we would later learn were cousins of the shooter, and two females) rushed to area hospitals.  Three with head wounds.

Since then another female victim has died from her wounds.  Two remain in critical condition and one in serious.  We have since learned the motive "may" have involved a girl.  The gunman lured his victims to the lunch table to meet him via text message.  Haunting.  Tragic.  Senseless.  


Before last Friday's shooting the Marysville-Pilchuck football team (which the gunman was a member of) was scheduled to play Oak Harbor to determine first and second places in their division.  Obviously, the game would not be played.  But a winner was determined (two of them in my book).  The Oak Harbor team decided to forfeit the game giving Marysville-Pilchuck the win.    

"It's not all about football, but it's about the habits of the heart and what our kids learn that are far beyond reading, writing and arithmetic," said Dr. Becky Berg, Marysville School Superintendent.  "And I think this will be a great lesson for all of our kids."

Marysville-Pilchuck got the win.  Oak Harbor got my heart.  But wait, there is more...

Friday night, instead of playing a football game, the Marysville-Pilchuck football team would attend a vigil at at The Grove Church honoring the victims of the shooting.  They would find the Oak Harbor players in the front row.  Touching.  Selfless.  Love.    


(As a side note, yesterday, the Coach of the Seattle Seahawks invited both teams to practice at the Seahawks training facility.  Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called the forfeit "an extraordinary gesture".)  May the healing begin...  



  1. Wow...heart wrenching but beautifully written. Thank you for sharing this, Mindy.

  2. Even in this darkness, some light.

  3. Thank you so much for telling us all about this. Wow. What class on the part of the football team to support and forfeit too. You are so right. That is an island of mercy in an ocean of tears.

  4. I have no words, Mindy, just a lump in my throat. I hadn't heard this news before now probably because of what's going on in Canada with the shooting on Parliament Hill. Thank you for telling it in a way that gives us hope in the midst of such horrific events.

  5. What a sad, sad story! The suffering and senseless violence is just hard to fathom. Thank you for helping us see this as more than just another tragedy.

  6. Oh Mindy, I am so blessed to find you through Robyn; she had sent me your link here, and then I see you came by to my post....thank you so much.

    Yes, as a high school teacher and former elementary teacher, I see my dear students still as children. I see their smiles, the ANTICS, their possibilities, and it breaks my heart to hear of yet another shooting. WHEN WILL IT STOP?

    My husband and I discuss this constantly. We do live in a harsh world, as my 11th grader stated, but we also have our imaginations that lead up to PROBLEM SOLVING....and I just wish our youth (and many adults!) would take the time to engage in such life-promoting practices.

    All we can do is not lose hope, faith, and most of all, LOVE.

    Peace to you! Anita