The Brood: Nothing Has Happened (Again)(and Again)

I wrote this Brood less than a year ago. It was only last May when a teenager killed 19 children and 2 teachers in Uvalde, Texas while the “good guys with guns” cowered outside. I am reposting it today, 48 days after another shooting at Michigan State University (the last of the injured students was just discharged from the hospital today), and a week after the shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville.

A shooting at a Christian school in a conservative state belies everything I was once taught about the nature of these violent acts. You see, I was told that locked doors would stop the shootings. I was told armed school staff would stop the shootings. I was told prayer in schools would stop the shootings. I was even told that overturning Roe v. Wade would stop the shootings.

They haven’t stopped.

The rock I reference in this piece has been repainted: “Spartan Strong.”


April 20th, 1999, my boyfriend—the teacher—called me from his classroom.

I answered on the landline of my student apartment.

Turn on the TV, he said, something’s happened.

I turned on the giant CRT and saw a helicopter shot, a school in Colorado.

They had guns, he told me.

They were kids. Kids killing kids.

I can’t, I told him, turning away.

He told me, I have to.

December 14th, 2012, my husband—the teacher—called my cellphone.

I was in the parking lot of the school where he taught, and I taught, too.

They were kids, he said, little kids, six years oldand their teacher. She was trying to hide them.

No, I said, god, no. Our firstborn son was six years old.

I wore my school keys around my neck after that, to save time,

and a locket with photos of our two young children. School pictures.

Valentine’s Day2018, my husband texted from the parking lot of the high school.

I was at my desk, in the middle school. It was my free block.

Did you see?, he asked me. Another high school, this time.

Yes, I told him.

The story was already open before me, playing out on social media.

I closed the window and opened an email:

TWeiler @MAINTENANCE, Please repair broken crash bar, Room 239.

Last Tuesday, my husband—the teacher—came to me.

I am cooking dinner.

Again, he tells me, Texas.

I know, I tell him, I know.

(Six months ago, our seniors painted the rock by the football field, “OXFORD STRONG.”

I wondered, would they paint it over?

I wondered, how many coats?)

I stir the green beans, and our youngest asks, What happened?

She is six years old.

We are silent for a moment.

Nothing, we tell her, Nothing has happened.

And it is true, isn’t it?

Nothing has happened. Nothing has happened.

Nothing has ever happened.

Theresa Weiler is a writer, singer, speaker, seeker. She lives in the Detroit suburbs with her husband and four children. You can follow her on Twitter @Real_Theresa or on Instagram @realtheresaweiler.

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