I have a note to myself that indicates I should remember that I wanted to write about that time a car came through a window of an establishment, narrowly missing me – as my next blog post returning from Reblogging Rae for the past two weeks.
Instead, it seems crass at the moment to write that today of all days – let alone I know have something much more pressing on my mind.
Of course, if you know me at all, you’d guess I am quite torn up about the terror attack in Stockholm today – but my feels are more nuanced than simply a concern for a city in general that I love.
Initially I found out that Svea had intended to visit that very department store after work today, but had been held up and was therefore not able to be there at the time the events unfolded.
I of course was relieved that she was nowhere near the scene (well not in the immediate vicinity) and while she was inconvenienced by being stuck at her office till well into the night, she otherwise was experiencing a blessing in disguise.
Thoughts ran through my head about how close it all was. Åhléns City was a department store I frequented with not only Svea, but Maja and Anneke as well when I lived in the Stockholm area. The unconfirmed shots some say were fired in Fridhemsplan? Well, that is where our high school is. It was just all too relatable an incident for comfort.
The worst of the feels came; however, when I learned that Maja was actually at the scene. She told both Svea and I through private messaging before she made any public announcement… Unlike Svea, she got off work early that day and decided to meet her husband in town for Fika (coffee break). He was not there yet, so she decided to go into Åhléns to browse until he arrived.
She reported that the fire alarm went off first and she quickly exited the building. She apparently did not see the truck coming towards her until a police officer yelled for everyone to run for their lives.
She ran until she reached Fridhemsplan where another police officer told her to get off the street as they believed gunmen to be on the rooftops.
She eventually made it home, obviously, or I wouldn’t have gotten her account of things…. I know she’s safe. I know they are both safe… I saw them both check in as safe, among the majority of my other Swedish friends, on Facebook before I even got to speak to them…
But have you ever listened to or read someone’s harrowing tale and felt the fear for yourself? Imagined what it would have been like to be in their shoes and lived the same event? Have you ever learned how close you were to losing a loved one in an instant only to realise they haven’t been lost after all? Realised that you can be joking with them the day before and telling your husband all about them the night before (as I had been doing), and they could be gone without warning the next?
I seem to have some kind of empathetic spirit, because I can recall other times my feels have taken over in such instances – like years ago some coworkers were relaying the story of a car accident they were all in together, how scary it was, and how lucky they were to be alive. I had to excuse myself from the table because I felt the tears coming on…
My feels have been hurting all afternoon while I’m trying to process today’s events. As I’m thinking on not only how Maja was nearly lost to not only me, but her husband and two young children. How if something like that could happen to her, it could happen to me and my family too.
You have no idea how grateful I am right now that Svea was stuck at work and that Maja made it out of the area alive and uninjured.
I want to share some of Maja’s words with you today. I assume she won’t mind as she made the post public… though she’d be asleep now so I can’t actually ask her 😉
Today for the first time in a long time I thought I’d go to town and grab a coffee with hubs since we both finished worked early, it started with a fire alarm and evacuations in Åhlens and ended with me running for my life as I saw this truck gunning for the crowd right towards me… thank you to the police man who shouted RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! ( spring för in i helvetet spring faaan!!!) if it wasn’t for you I don’t know if I would be here now. Thank you to the stranger hugging the distraught mom with the baby, thank you to all the strangers who helped with the girl having an epilepsy seizure , thank you to everyone who took a minute to make sure someone else is safe, thank you to the old lady on the buss who held my hand when she saw how shaken I was, thank you to all the amazing police officers who managed the panicked mob of people, thank you to all you who have opened up your homes, thank you for the man who instead of giving us directions gave us a ride so we could go get the kids, thank you to the people of Stockholm🙏🏻❤. #stockholmopen #stockholmislove #togetherwearestrong #love #countingblessings
Now, if you’ll excuse me… I need to go have a drink or three.