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‘What would we do if someone started shooting?,’ I wondered in church. I could feel my heart racing.’: Mom says her fear can be ‘crippling’ following mass shootings, but knows there will ‘always be light’

“Where were the exits? How would I protect my kids? I hate that my mind was in a place of fear in church of all places. I often run to the grocery store or Target with all 3 of my kids. How will I protect them if someone started shooting? How can I keep them safe? How can I teach them to protect themselves? Fear can be crippling. But there will also always be light.”

‘I had a great 4th of July. Except for the part where I almost died. I ate macaroni salad. I didn’t realize it was different, until I was SURE I tasted fish. Not just fish, but CRAB. I was convinced of it.’

“My ears started to burn. My lips tingled. My thoughts consumed me. My brain went into overdrive. The voice inside my head started panicking and screaming into my itchy ear, ‘That’s it, you’re gonna die.’ I had to act quickly before my throat closed and my hands seized. Then, I saw it. It took my breath away.”

‘We had 90 days to get married. A man who’s never met my family. We both questioned what we’d gotten into.’: Woman takes leap of faith in marrying man who had never met her family

“I remember talking to my Dad after the fact. He said, ‘Ronnie called me to ask my blessing. I couldn’t understand half of what he said, but I told him yes, my daughter could marry him.’ Although, not everyone had encouraging comments. I had frequent questions like, ‘What if this guy just wants a green card?’”

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