Thousand Oaks a Month Later

It’s been almost a month since the Borderline shooting and the horrific fires. Our community is getting back to the new normal. 

Signs still decorate the landscape and I believe they will for some time. Hopefully they will not just be a praise of gratitude but also a reminder. A reminder to be kind, compassionate and caring for our neighbors, our community, as we cope with and move on from the grief of a catastrophic November.  The Insurance Company Mobile Units, the FEMA Mobile Unit and the Red Cross have returned to their places of origin.  The Soccer fields which were used to house gallant, yet exhausted firefighters, is once again filled with children playing soccer, the game of fall.  Several people have been turning their grief into something positive, actively advocating for better mental health care and gun control.  There are still fund-raisers for the victims of both events, still memorials to attend and still devastation and pain to come to grips with.  In the first few weeks I saw people hugging each other in the market, opening doors for others, having more patience with strangers, less road rage. But as the days move on, I’ve noticed less of that, even though we are in the month of “Good will towards men.”  However, I am hopeful the signs around town, the T-shirts, the hats, the fund-raisers and the red-fire retardant stained hill tops, will be constant reminders, to bring us back to that kind, compassionate place.  It takes practice to live there. We get so involved in the daily grind. It’s always sad to think that it’s tragedy that often brings us back to that place, the place of the heart. The reminder of how fragile we really are. How much we need each other. How an instant can be life-altering.  I am grateful for the fire fighters and responders for all they do. Not just on the grand scale, but daily in their work and for the sacrifices their families make for the greater good. #TOstrong means, that we are a resilient community. We must be. Because, the signs are all there, reminding us that’s the way forward.