I have been struggling all weekend with the need to write something, anything, about what happened on Friday in Connecticut. Feeling so deeply that if I could just write something, process what happened, it would somehow make sense. But it will never make sense. And there are no words in any human language that can change that.
All through the weekend I found myself drawn to the computer every hour or so, searching for new information, crying as the photos of the 26 began to appear, sobbing as I listened to a father talk about his Emilie. After the boys went to bed I read & read... hoping for some kind of explanation. As if knowing the why behind it all would keep us safe.
Like so many other parents, since Friday I found a little more patience, a little extra time and a whole lot of snuggles for my little ones. Holding them close, knowing Monday would soon come and life would need to go on. Dropping Quinn at school today I had to repeat the words, "Do not cry... do not cry... do not cry..." to myself more times than I care to admit. With a kiss & an extra squeeze I said goodbye to my son and put my trust in the world that I would be able to pick him up in a few short hours. Friday's events stay so close in my mind. How could they not?
My heart aches for all those who lost loved ones. For the first responders who saw first-hand what darkness looks like. For the survivors who will have to find their way to a new normal, through sadness and fear and a loss of any sense of safe. For all of us as humans, who are born, live and die exactly the same no matter where we live, what we believe or who we vote for. One breath at a time.
As I looked around Quinn's classroom this morning, I took in the innocence, the energy, the wonder, of a room full of first graders. I had to forcibly steer my mind in another direction... do not cry do not cry... focusing instead on the sweet smile and "hello Quinn's mommy" from one of his classmates. On the patient and warm way his teacher greats each child individually every morning. On the knowledge that these children have no idea what happened last week. On the hope that they never will know, except perhaps as something they learn in history class one day. About the event that turned our country in a new and better direction on the issue of gun control and support for mental health care.
Life moves forward. Bad things happen. Innocent people die. All we have is this moment here. Staying present and enjoying the hell out of it is the only way I can think of to keep moving forward.