Yesterday was filled with mixed emotions. When asked if she wanted to go to Disney World or the Justin Bieber concert, a local four-year old girl chose her idol, Justin. The south-eastern Wisconsin community rallied together to make this little girl’s dreams come true. They posted to Facebook (Healing Hailey), they wrote about Hailey on their blogs and they tweeted about her … in hopes of getting Justin’s attention so that he would meet her in person. They weren’t sure if she would get released to go, but everyone fought hard and prayed harder for her.
Yesterday was the big concert day … Yet tragedy struck a local mall … Just miles from the Bradley Center and Children’s Hospital. There was a mass shooting so close to home in a local spa (Azana). When I heard the name of the spa on the new I flashed back to last summer – I wanted an orange feather in my hair …. No one had orange feathers in stock. I heard that Azana had them, so I got my mom to watch the kids and I drove. I remember getting lost and calling for directions. I remember walking in … I remember what it looked like. I remember the heaviness in my chest as I was totally aware of why I was there … To have something that reminded me of my dead son. They didn’t have orange in stock. My heart sunk. Ugh I came so close to having a part of him with me again. The receptionist was nice, pretty & fashionable. She had no idea why I was on the hunt for on orange feather. I thanked the young girl for trying to help me and then I was on my way.
This morning that same salon was filled with people running for their lives and a man who had totally lost control of himself. Was the same receptionist the one that greeted the shooter with a smile? I don’t really remember her face well enough to know if she was one of the victims. The news said it was over domestic dispute. A restraining order was just put in place.
How many of the women there were enjoying a Sunday morning away from their families – getting a little pampering? Is no place safe anymore? After the shooting, they couldn’t find the shooter – so Freodert Hospital, Children’s Hospital & the surrounding stores were all on lockdown. That meant Hailey might not make it to the Justin Bieber concert – are you kidding me?!? Some lunatic was going to cost this precious little girl her last wish?
God came through and the lock down was released in time for Hailey to make it to the concert AND meet Justin Bieber in person! In the midst of the terrible, horrible, disgusting event – a little girl’s dream came true. Hard to comprehend how the same God would allow something so beautiful for Hailey and something so horrific for those who were in the same city at a nearby salon.
This contradiction of nightmares and miracles ring true for my story I guess – an innocent 6 month old baby boy – perfect in every way – dies with no explanation. But just one state over, a little girl’s life was just beginning – her parents prayers and pleas were answered. True joy and true sorrow all mixed up in the same story. A heart transplant. A liver transplant. Joy vs. Loss. So beautiful yet impossible to understand.
God bless Hailey. Thank you, Justin Bieber, for being part of a miracle on Sunday. May the victims of the Azana shooting be comforted by the peace of God. For all the mothers who have lost a child – may you find beauty the face of tragedy.