There really aren’t words to express my emotions this evening as I reflect on a day that most of us will never forget. When I first read about the tragedy on Facebook, I was under the impression that three people were shot, including the gunman. I was sad to read this news. I really had no idea. I continued on with my day, working.
However, I work in social media. I do social media research. I look at Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and other social sharing platforms most of the day. And, every time I opened another page my heart felt a little more heavy, my cheeks a little more wet.
Ultimately, I couldn’t continue working. I couldn’t read, look at or hear another word about this tragedy for a moment. I needed my children, to see them, to hug them, to celebrate their lives.
Shortly after reading that 20 children were taken from this world so unbelievably unfairly, along with six adults that dedicated their lives to those and hundreds of other children, I couldn’t take it anymore. My oldest two kids were already home. We left and picked up my youngest, a six-year-old first grader, at his After School Program.
I walked into his School’s cafeteria. He was there, sitting Indian Style on the floor in a circle of about 20 six, seven and eight year old children. I choked on my tears as I signed him out, staring at those young, innocent beautiful lives. So happy, so full of energy and life and hope and faith. So, safe. At school. Where we send our children day after day, year after year in order for them to learn to live, to love, to be. I was so thankful for all of them. For their silliness, their happiness, because they gave me peace, even if for only a moment.
I took the kids to McDonald’s and literally gave them free choice. Eggnog shake? Sure! McFlurry? Okay. And a meal? Why not? A drink too? Yup! I just couldn’t say no tonight. Because, they were there, with me and I felt more blessed than I think I ever have. We came home and rented The Odd Life of Timothy Green. We’d all been waiting to see it. The kids were excited and we gathered around together, as a family, intact, whole and thankful.
My older two children know what happened. They are sad and confused but seemingly untouched. They don’t feel the fear, the pain. I’m thankful for that. My youngest doesn’t know because I couldn’t find the words. Maybe he doesn’t need to know. Maybe I should tell him before he is scared by the stories of an unfamiliar voice. I don’t know. I still don’t understand. I don’t think I ever will.
As a mother, my thoughts and prayers and just, heart break, for the parents of the children taken today and the children of the parents lost in that school. 26 lives were taken by one
man monster. 26 families. One community. One State. One Country. The loss is so great, so deep that those that have never known these people cry for them. I watched our President cry for them. His words were as much from the American people as they were to them (us)(me).
I realize that I am rambling. I hoped that writing this would give me some outlet, some way to release some of the hurt that I am feeling. The anger. Because, yes, I am so very angry. Screw the agendas, the political activism, the bull. This is about 20 little kids and 6 adults, and its about us a Country, as humans. There’s time for all of the nitty-gritty and petty stuff later. But today, lets mourn those lost and celebrate their short lives. Let’s come together, ignore the divides and give one another virtual hugs, words of kindness, hope.
Tomorrow is a new day. I am not naive enough to believe that life as we know it will really ever be the same. The holidays are overshadowed by our sadness. Christmas presents were bought, wrapped and tagged and are left without anyone to open them. Parents can no longer anticipate the surprise and joy on their children’s faces on Christmas morning this year, or any year. No more Happy Birthdays. No college applications, weddings, grandchildren, futures.
And, there is nothing to do to fix this. Nothing to undo what’s been done. I’m blessed for what I have and that my own children are at home, tucked into their beds, alive. We have tomorrow. I’m so sorry that so many Moms and Dads won’t sleep tonight, consumed by grief. Angry for them. Sad for them.
I pray for everyone affected by this tragedy, either directly or indirectly, that they (we all) will find peace, our faiths restored and that healing will come quickly. I pray that we find our way back to a world where kindness rules and the bitter painful memories fade fast. I pray for the children of the school that heard the shots, lived through a real-life nightmare. Lost friends, teachers, special adults and siblings. I can’t imagine having to deal with this grief and fear and 5-10 years old.
I just don’t know what else to say. To think. To feel. God Bless You. Sympathy cards can be mailed to the school at:
Sandy Hook Elementary School
12 Dickenson Dr.
Sandy Hook, CT 06482
****Names and ages of the 26 people gunned down at a Connecticut elementary school Friday in the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history****
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel Davino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6
Source: Connecticut State Police