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7 years after tragedy, Mindy Corporon releases book

Story details journey after murder of father, son
healing a shattered soul.jpg
Posted at 5:00 AM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 08:50:53-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — In April 2014, the Kansas City area was rocked on a Sunday afternoon when a man opened fire at the Jewish Community Center and at Village Shalom Retirement Center in Overland Park, killing three people.

Mindy Corporon, who lost her father and teenage son that day, went on to found the Faith Always Wins Foundation and launch the SevenDays Experience in Kansas City. But starting Monday, her story is available in a whole new way -- in a book titled "Healing a Shattered Soul."

Every April 13 since 2014, Corporon told 41 Action News that she wakes with a single wish.

"When I wake up on the 13th, I want a do-over," Corporon said. "That's what I want."

The man who killed Corporon's father and son was targeting Jewish people. But Mindy's family isn't Jewish.

"My entire life has changed since April 13. There's not one thing that I do now that I did before," Corporon said. "I know what it feels like to feel like a target, even when you're not supposedly supposed to be one."

Corporon said she has tried different methods on her road to recovery, but the most successful was writing.

"I wrote all my feelings -- happy, sad, angry, furious, sorrowful," Corporon said. "I wrote everything, because that was how I started to process getting some of those feelings out of me."

Journal after journal, Corporon wrote thousands of words. The process went from what she calls cathartic writing to the idea of putting it all into a book.

But a literary agent told Corporon that her story needed an ending.

"It didn't come to me on how to finish it until Reat's 21st birthday," Corporon said, referencing her son Reat Underwood, who was killed in 2014 at the age of 14.

"How do you write a memoir, and have an ending when you're still living," Corporon said. "But that became -- my ending was my journey from bringing people together in a faith path, and creating Faith Always Wins, and SevenDays, and now moving to talking about racial injustices."

Those conversations are the ones Corporon wants to have now, especially when the news of another mass shooting hits her phone.

"I have a physical, visceral reaction to it," she said. "My heart hurts. My heart aches. I get tired. It's exhausting. I'm feeling back in the parking lot, and seeing my dad, and seeing my son, and I immediately think of the family members who have survived. And that just makes for more hurt people. And my worry is that hurt people, hurt people."

The hurt in people is something Corporon said she hopes her book relieves just a little bit in those who read it. But she has one particular audience that she hopes turns these pages.

"If it would change the life of a white supremacist, I would want them to read it," Corporon said.

Corporon still journals. She told 41 Action News that she's writing in a journal now that was given to her not long after her father and son were killed. She said that she wasn't able to use that journal in those first days, because it was "too painful."

Her book, "Healing A Shattered Soul," is available for purchase now.

Corporon also recently appeared as a guest on Faith in KC with 41 Action News anchor Taylor Hemness.