On July 7, Meg Holmes of Grand Haven was visiting two friends at a house on Rickman NE in Grand Rapids.  Suddenly Rodrick Dantzler, who had just killed seven people and was on the run from police, burst in and all three friends became hostages.  Holmes hid under a bed at first, but later revealed herself.  Now she speaks through her blog.

July 7, 2011 is a day none of us will ever forget.  Meg Holmes hopes that we can all learn a lesson from that day.  Here are her words:

Three weeks ago, on 7/7, I spent hours hiding under a bed while a man with a gun, RD, held two of my friends hostage. He released one of them and hours passed. I waited until there was no choice but to reveal myself and try to change the course of that horrific night.

Everyone, including the media, wants to hear my side of the story… That is not what this is. That story has been written and may be shared sometime, but this is not that day. This is about something else. This is about choices. The choices that we make affect everyone around us; like ripples in life’s pond.

Sometimes life is messy and complicated and it doesn’t play by the rules and people can get very, very hurt. I don’t believe in evil people. I believe everyone has it in him or herself to make evil choices or good choices and it is those choices which define us all.

The world likes things to be simple, but they are not. Most everyone is taught, from a very young age, that stories need a hero and a villain and people want to think the same about the night of 7/7. I believe RD was not the villain that night nor was I the hero; he chose to do bad things and I chose to do good things.

I hope the one lesson people learn from this terrible tragedy is that we all need to choose to be kinder and a bit more compassionate even when it seems most difficult– especially when it seems most difficult– because those may be the most significant moments of all.

Please, move forward; live your lives and consciously choose to do good things.

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