I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.
I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.
I feel like I am overreacting about what I experienced. But I can’t help but be thankful for whatever caused me to make the choices that I made that day. My mind keeps replaying what I saw over in my head. I hope the victims make a full recovery. I wish I could shake this odd feeling from my chest. The feeling that’s reminding me how blessed I am. The same feeling that made me leave the Eaton Center. The feeling that may have potentially saved my life.
The above was written by Jessica Ghawi, who went by the name Jessica Redfield in her professional career. She managed to avoid a mass shooting in Toronto’s Eaton Centere on the 2nd of June. There were five victims in all, two of those fatal. Ms. Ghawi was in the same spot that the shooting would transpire in, narrowly missing the rampage by a matter of minutes. Less than two months later, she would be unable to avoid the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, becoming one of the twelve killed. Her insight into escaping one rampage before being struck down in another underscores a fragility in life that far too many of us in the western world take for advantage.