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Wyoming cowgirl blues

December 4, 2012 - Jennifer Brookens
Friday was a rough day for my hometown roots.

Growing up in Wyoming, I tend to keep tabs on what's going on over there. I saw on one of the news Web sites that my old elementary school was sitting empty, gutted-out for nearly two years. They had a photo of it with missing windows, tall weeds growing through the cracks in the playground area. I could see directly into the rooms where I had my fourth- and fifth-grade classes. I haven't been back there for two decades now, and I wouldn't say those elementary days were the best years of my life, but it did make me sad.

But when I refreshed the page, there was a breaking news bulletin about a shooting at Casper College. Casper College was where I earned my Associate's Degree, and have some of my best college memories. I found myself following the story throughout the day as it unfolded. I didn't know any of the people involved, but again I felt sick and horrified. I recognized the places being shown surrounded by police tape. One of the killings happened by a shopping center where I worked at a daycare. I wanted to hug my friends and acquaintances that still live there and were likely six degrees of separation from those directly involved or affected.

I've only been back to Wyoming twice since my parents relocated in 2004. It was a strange feeling wanting to be back there with the people I care about, yet the selfish side of me was grateful I wasn't there to feel the full intensity of the event or having to tell and explain such things to my children. At least not yet.

So I did the only thing I really could do by talking to and sending love to my friends still in Casper, and saying a little prayer for the healing to begin. God Bless you, Casper.


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A meme created for the Casper College tragedy.