The Universe Has A Plan

Last week the Deaf Education instructor at my children’s school emailed me and asked if I would be willing to contact and then meet with some friends of hers.  Her friends are a Deaf couple couple in the process of adopting a little girl from China and since I have been there, done that, she thought I might be a good resource and provide support for them.

Yesterday after my morning at the range, I rushed home to spend a few hours with the kids and then I met up with the couple at Starbucks.

First, I have to say these two are some of the neatest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet.  Had a fabulous time talking with them.

Talking with them in a public place was a new challenge for my situational awareness because since they are deaf we were signing.  Eye contact is incredibly important for the politeness, but also if I looked away to check the doors, I would miss what one of them was saying.  They had arrived before me and found seats, so the only seat available left my back to the only incoming door as well as everything happening at the counter.  Fortunately, the chair was not bolted down and I could move it a little to give me a better view of things and still be able to see them.  I was amazed at how much I have actually learned and processed.  I was able to scan the room, count how many people were there, converse with my new friends, and be aware enough to find times that I could take a quick scan of things.  It was pretty natural. Eventually they asked to see pictures of my kids and I moved to sit on the loveseat next to the wife.  That was a much better place to see the haps inside the coffee place.

We had been talking for about an hour when the wife asked me if I worked and if so where.  I told her that I work for a firearms instructor. The husband immediately lit up and says “I want to take your course”  I explain that I am the gopher girl, but that if he took the course from John, I would make sure to be there. He told me there was no way his wife would go for it.  She does not like guns.

I have mentioned before that every time I go somewhere I have no intention of talking guns or about being mugged.  It never crossed my mind in a million years that I would spend an hour discussing shooting and my attack, but I am starting to think the universe is determined to squeeze every ounce of good it can from my misfortune. Even with gun people I try not to bring it up, but generally when I meet new gun people they are curious and often ask me how I got into shooting.  I say a bad guy encounter and try to leave it at that. Men don’t tend to ask me for details.  Women always do.

After the husband tells me his wife will not go for it, I look at her and she smiles.  “Guns scare me.”  I smile back and say “I get that”.  “Guns used to scare me too.”  I tell her the traditional once I realized the gun is just a thing and I control it, I was better able to open my mind.  I tell her that my kitchen knives tend to be more dangerous because I am not as careful with them.  I am so comfortable I will pick one up and start chopping food while chit chatting and signing and oops, I just took a slice out of my finger.  I tell her I am always aware and careful with my guns, so my confidence in dealing with them is high.

We get back to talking about adoption for the next 30 minutes or so, and she says “I want to meet your kids”  I said sure, lets set up dinner.  She looks to her husband who says “Yeah, great, I want to take her shooting course.”  Again, she smiles.

She explains to me that her husband grew up hunting and likes rifles, but has never shot a pistol and she does not understand the need.  He chimes in with “What about to protect our home?”

I want to say this was a very friendly light-hearted conversation.  There was no tension at all and I did not feel like I was put in the middle between these two people.  He genuinely cared about her feelings and she about his.  Honestly, it was sweet and tender to be a part of their conversation.  I loved to watch them loving each other.

Anyway, I do decide that I will share that I was mugged.  No details, no tears, no drama, just me saying, your husband has a point.  Self protection is a concern and I know of what I speak.  She is shocked that something like that happened right in our town, to me, in the day time, not too far from where we were having coffee.

She listens and then starts to asks a lot of questions.  Lots.  She would make a good detective.  I do end up going into the full account, in more verbal detail then I ever have before.  I am fine.  Not traumatized at all.  She gets teary eyed once, but I do not.  At one point I am talking to her and I come to the part where I put E in the car and she looks me in the eyes and says, “Why didn’t you get in the car?”  I am taken a back for a minute because I thought, What? Wait?  Why didn’t I get in the car????

In all the times I have recounted this story I have said I should have ran into the store, I should have yelled, I should have done this or that, but I have never said I should have got into the car.  Why didn’t I just get into the car?

I look at her for a few seconds and I very softly say, “Why didn’t I.”  “Good question.”  “I did a lot wrong that day.”  Then I told her that at the start of every self defense class the question is asked what does a criminal need?  He needs a victim and then I tell her a good deal of the class is spent discussing how not to be chosen.  She asks me why I think the bad guy chose me and I tell her, “Because I was the perfect choice.”  “I made it easy.”  She said “How?”  We talk about what bad guys look for and how I fit each of them.

I loved this conversation because she was honestly wanting to know.  She was not being judgmental or harsh or accusative.  We were discussing things she had never thought of and if I did nothing else yesterday, I got her thinking.

Somehow we get back to adoption and we talk for another 40 minutes.  At the end the wife says, I can’t wait to come to your house for dinner.  Her husband says, I can’t wait to take her shooting course.

I laughed and said, “Yep, I am a full service friend”.  “I am here for all your adoption and shooting needs.”

40 thoughts on “The Universe Has A Plan

  1. Sounds like a great meeting! Didn’t know you signed…Mom has been an interpreter for years…tried putting me into a sign-language class at our church growing up, but village-idiot me has trouble picking up foreign languages (I managed English pretty well, even though I’ve never been to England and only know two Englishmen/women).

  2. There is so, SO much I love about this post, and about how you present your situation in a manner that people with no gun experience can relate to. In the manner of an hour, she went from being scared of guns to wanting to take John’s class.

    You do yourself and the gun community proud. *hug*

    • Oh Maura, you are so sweet. I might not have been clear. She is not interested in taking John’s class, but she might be more open to letting her husband. I’m still working on her:)

  3. Graceful and respectful conversations like this one is what will open minds. Your response to her fears was respectful and “allowed” her to have them. Because you accepted them, then shared your experience overcoming them, she was open to think, and not be defensive. Great job. A lesson here for all!

  4. How wonderful of you to share these parts of yourselves with others to better their lives. It speaks much of your character.

    There was a woman in a place I worked once. She complained once when someone had a gun calender in their office, not a formal one to management, just to the person that “I don’t like guns” “I don’t like to see that” (It was a hunting calender).

    She knew I shot, said she never could. She was quite shy in nature. Then there was a day when she had to call a home repair place to fix a door lock. A licensed, bonded one. The fellow came to her home, she lives alone and is young and attractive. He made several very rude, sexual overtoned remarks to her that made her very uncomfortable. Then, as he left, he said “I know where you live, I’ll be back”. She immediately called the business to complain, they said they never got the service call. It seems the employee who took the call was parting out some of the small jobs to a “buddy” who didn’t work for them. Who know who that guy was. The employee was fired, but still she laid awake all night, wondering if he was going to break in and rape her.

    The next day she started asking questions, of me, of a couple others in the office who were instructors when they were police officers in a past job.

    I hadn’t seen her in a while, but she stopped by to say hi the other day, showing me the new rifle she was buying to add to her self defense stores. I was so pleased, and you could see the chance in her confidence.

  5. Isn’t it funny how almost every conversation provides an opportunity to talk guns? You’re a great ambassador for us.

    As a side note, I didn’t know you signed. This world is just getting smaller and smaller. I very rarely sign any more, but definitely need the practice – it’s such a great skill to have. AND it increased your ability to read body language, since so much communicating is done through facial expression and body language.

  6. What a well-written and totally engrossing story this is! You are a great ambassador, indeed. People like you make this a better place to live. I love reading your blog every day.

  7. I love your writing. You make a person feel like we’re sitting down with a cup of joe just having a conversation. I continue to learn every time I log on and read your latest posting. There are so many who are on this journey with me. Our community are some of the best people I’ve gotten to know over the past 6 months and I’m happy you’re part of them.

  8. I believe you represented your peer group quite well as an ambassador of learning, self affirmation and personal growth. Firearms, empty hand self defense skills and a tactical mindset are just icing on the cake. In the future I’d encourage you to learn to recognize the mugging as what it really is, a strong arm robbery. For all of the angst, tears, pain and self doubt you experienced afterwards focus instead on this. You fought back, persevered, protected your daughter and won, even better you made something positive of the entire experience.
    People who are frightened of firearms are generally that way due to a negative experience or indoctrination. Encouraging them to attend a firearms safety course coupled with an introduction to shooting is an excellent first step. I am very jealous over your ability to do sign language; it and Spanish are the two most useful languages for us to learn here in the United States. I think that your daughters are going to be outstanding young ladies due to you and your husband’s positive examples and love of them.

    • You always say things that make me think. I appreciate that. Thank you for taking the time to write things you think will be helpful and for your encouragement.

  9. “get in the car…..” So simple…or is it? For one, that creep might have been able to knock you out and take the car with you and your child in it. NOT a good idea. I think this vividly points out something else. When a situation like this happens, common sense, thinking, as well as reaction all go out the window. That is why the military trains..and trains, and trains. Your action, or rather reaction is automatic. Never thought about this before…but maybe it might be a good idea to create training exercises in this type of thing in addition to weapons training.

    • Curt, your right getting in the car might not have been the best solution, but the fact that it never occurred to me as an option is what bothers me. Honestly, I don’t feel guilty anymore at all. I don’t. It’s useless. I am over all that even though occasionally I get sad, mostly I am focused on moving forward.

      I do, do scenario based training. John has taken me back to that day and we have worked through some ways I could have handeled things differently. I also work with a guy I call Arête and we have done a little of that. Hopefully, we will do more.

      I sincerity appreciate your comments and you taking the time to offer me tangible ideas and solutions. Thank you!!!,

  10. Sounds like you did us all a great service by discussing the subject so personally and honestly with someone who was at best neutral.

  11. Awesome tale. Awesome post.
    Where do you get all the energy?

    After shooting Saturday, I planted my ass on the couch for a nap.

    It was great meeting you. You actually are as cool as you sound on your blog.

    • Lol. I do have a lot of energy. I like busy:)

      You are too kind to me. I found you to be quiet the gentleman…ladies first and all. Thanks!

  12. Sounds like another very cool encounter and some new friends made. I bet that lady becomes more interested in shooting soon too!

  13. Great conversation. I love that you’re out there having these conversations with people and doing it well. I love having conversations like this with both trained and untrained people. You get to hash over all of the “what ifs” and really think it through. Trained people have the obvious take on such things, but untrained people can be a wealth of knowledge for things you wouldn’t normally think about as well as an interesting insight into the mind of someone who doesn’t think in terms of defense. They might just reveal something about your actions that you didn’t realize. Good job.

    • It surprises me that I am still learning lessons from that day. Fortunately they are less painful now. I am able to take them without the guilt and shame. Thanks!

  14. A great personal interface. I was impressed with your awareness of the situation and your handling of it. Reminds me of the story of the master and the student regarding situational awareness:

    Upon hearing the story of the bandit in the village, the student went to the Master.

    “Master, it saddens me that this evildoer is preying on the helpless. I have listened to and practiced all that you have taught me to prepare myself; I truly believe in my heart that I can defeat this bandit.”

    “Everywhere I go on my daily rounds, I keep an eye out for him, walking upright, staying alert and looking around, studying the people around me, and yet the monster never shows himself, never chooses me, but preys on the defenseless instead. Why, Master?”

    The Master only smiled.

    And the student was enlightened.

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