Over My Shoulder – by Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson
There are certain things that stand out in our lives. For me, the shooting at Columbine is one of those things. Everyone around my age remembers it as a life changing day. Fear gripped our nation, school safety was questioned, hugging our kids even tighter, and breathing a sigh of relief when they got home from school started to become our new normal.
This book is, “Over My Shoulder- A Columbine Survivor’s Story of Resilience, Hope, and a Life Reclaimed”. It is a book about an entire family who fought hard to save their daughter in several different ways after the attack at Columbine. Her journey was not over when her bandages came off. Her physical injuries will be with her forever. And the emotional toll? It is a battle she continues to fight…and is winning. This book is a testament to faith in God, and trusting Him, even when you are up against odds that seem the size of a mountain.
I feel like this is a book of hope for those that are hurting. It may be an emotional pain or a physical pain, but the hope that is given in this book may be the words what someone that you know needs to hear. This family went through something awful, but today they are happy and thriving and living beautiful lives. If you know someone in need of hope and encouragement, consider this book for them.~Janell at Green Gables Book Reviews
Kacey is new to Columbine and it’s her first time in the Library. Who knew everything would change on this day?
Kacey was a stoic and shy kid. She loved horses, because of her Mom and her Dad is her hero. Her relationship with God started at age 8. She was in horse competitions and 4-H. She loved her family, Mom and Dad, and her siblings. She loves being at the horse barn and competing.
How did everything change so much? She got older and she was turning her attention away from her family and God to a new group of friends. Teenage attitudes and behaviors soon followed. She was drawn to a cute boy. Sometimes, teenagers make very bad life altering choices. Those choices can have rippling effects that go on and on. Depression..suicide…lying…dangerous behaviors…Mom and Dad want to help, but they’re lost how to help. New rules get put in place. No freedom…the new friends push her away. Finally after weeks of worry she’s ready to talk to Mom and Dad.
She needed a new start, at a new school with her church friends, at Columbine High School. So, on April 20, 1999, newly transferred to Columbine, Kacey was in the Library when she heard a popping sound. The teacher is yelling. Kacey hides beneath a desk.
Kacey is shot.
The way Kacey has written this part of her life’s story is pure. She shares things that happened in detail, even when the words had to have been brutal to write. She shares moments she isn’t proud of but also shares her deepest joys. She has a bond with her parents that is filled with unwavering love. She is not allowing this tragedy to define her. She is living her life!
In “Over My Shoulder,” Kacey openly takes us through her journey from before the shooting to her life today. From her day in the library and being shot, through multiple surgeries, college, falling love and to her life with her own family now, and the joys, along with challenges, they have faced.
This book is beautifully written and it is a story of triumph that is needed in our world today.
You can get your copy of “Over My Shoulder” here.
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