When I read the article titled, "I Am a Survivor of Sandy Hook. This is What the Past Six Years Have Been Like," it hit me right between the eyes. The article appeared on the website marieclaire.com and is an excerpt from the book titled, If I Don't Make It, I Love You: Survivors In the Aftermath of School Shootings'.' It includes a series of true stories by survivors of school shootings.

Amazon Photo
Amazon Photo

The author, Amye Archer chronicles Cindy Clements Carlson, who was working in the library the morning of December 14, 2012, inside the Sandy Hook Library Media Center. Her daughter was also in the building at the time of the shooting.

The media center director is a close friend of Mindy and mine, and they were the very last group to exit the school. The following passages are select quotes from Archer's book as told by Carlson to illustrate her state of mind during the days after the shootings.

I don't remember making any decisions. A colleague heard what we thought were odd, staticky laughing over the intercom, so we called the office. A secretary, whose bravery we’d only fully understand later, told us there was a shooter in the building. Without thinking, I began to cover the doorway’s windows with our emergency shades. I called 9-1-1. I helped shepherd our library students into the narrow space previously determined to be not visible from the hallway.


Shooting At Elementary School In Newtown, Connecticut
Getty Images

One of the most chilling excerpts from Archer's book is when she told the story of how Carlson developed a habit of counting off 26 people wherever she went to a store, church, even at funerals. She needed to see 26. The sense of loss was unfathomable and her mind couldn't process it, so her eyes needed to see it.

I purchased the Kindle version of Amye Archer's book titled, 'If I Don't Make It, I Love You' and it is riveting but so very sad at the same time. Click this link to purchase.

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