"The longest day of my life." Letter by Texas school massacre survivor's mother

It is infuriating that with statistical certainty, many more American families will share this experience in 2018...

Deedra Van Ness, the mother of a student who survived Friday's deadly shooting at a Texas high school, took to social media on Saturday to share her family's harrowing tale.

In a letter titled "The longest day of my life," Van Ness described her 15-year-old daughter Isabelle Laymance's frightening experience hiding with classmates in a classroom closet as a gunman roamed the halls of Santa Fe High School, killing 10 people and wounding many others.Van Ness said she chose to make her letter public because "it's important for people to hear these stories and truly understand the impact."

It is infuriating that with statistical certainty, many more American parents will share this experience in 2018... Can we pray that they will be exclusively gun-loving, Second Amendment supporters?


We talked about grief and how each child’s experience and reaction to it will be different depending on where they were in the school at the time. For now, she feels like she needs to be with those people in the two classrooms that were targeted...and I completely understand.
We get home and she asks her daddy if she can sleep with me. He left to go take care of Kam and I’m sitting her watching her sleep. I’m so proud of her and her bravery and caring heart. She saved herself, called the policy, shared her phone with others who were afraid, spoke to a reporter to share her story, and stayed strong until she was able to transfer her burden to us. So far, she’s sleeping peacefully. No tossing, turning... nothing I anticipated. But as she dreams, she knows that I’m sitting her watching over her and I hope that’s enough for her to find peace in her slumber.

As for today....

The bus driver who so kindly watched over my daughter...lost her own.

My daughter lost two beloved teachers and friends.

My son lost his best friend.

Our family lost their cousin.

Other families’ children didn’t come home today.

Our community lost their innocence and feeling of safety.

And I noticed that I still haven’t washed the blood off my foot.