Saturday, December 15, 2012

Any Town

I don't usually post on the week ends.  However, after my last post about holiday traditions was written I shortly thereafter became aware of the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook.  It seemed so dumb to have that post go up, but there it is - sitting there in all its banality and happiness while so many lives were torn apart, ripped away and deeply traumatized.

I have nothing and everything to say.  I had to turn it all off last night because I couldn't stop crying.  I kept waking up in tears, trying to comprehend what it must be like for those parents, those surviving siblings and friends, for that entire community who lost mothers, daughters, sons, teachers, neighbors, friends, relatives.  Babies.

They were babies.

"I just want Christmas" one small child cried in what she thought were her last moments hiding in the bathroom under the brave protection of her teacher.

Babies.  Babies who just wanted Christmas.

It makes me ill, and that's all I can say.

It could have been any town.  Any school.  Any child.  That town sounds just like my town; small, safe, quaint.  A friendly, tight-knit community.  It could have been my school - my principal, my three children in grades Pre-K, First, and Third all housed under the elementary school roof.  My kid's friends, my friend's babies, my beloved teachers.

I put my girls on the bus at 8:05 yesterday morning.  It was cold.  They ran out of the minivan without looking back at me.  I didn't kiss and hug them goodbye.  I didn't say "I love you."  They just left and I never thought that might be the last time I saw them.  Never.

What can I do or say?  Nothing.  There's nothing I can do or say.  I can only hold my babies tight, smell their skin, feel their heartbeat in their little chest.  I can only celebrate Christmas, aching for those whose children were only hours ago making Christmas lists and squealing with delight when the Elf on the Shelf moved.  They were being kids at one of the happiest times of the year.  Twenty innocent babies, gone.

What can we do?  We can keep our blessed opinions on guns and rants about the agendas of liberals and conservatives respectively off of flippin' facebook for the love of all that's holy people. No offense to anyone but seriously, it's facebook, not a soapbox.  If you're not showing off cute pictures of your kids or being friendly and inspiring, don't post.  (Sorry, had to vent.)  I don't know what the answers are (nor do I want to be hypocritical and go there myself) but I know that no one's facebook status diatribes have ever solved the world's problems and looking for a reason to jump on the politics of something seems a bit unhelpful at this time.  So de-friend me if you must.

I'm just holding my children close.  Days will go by, then months, then years.  With time, we'll forget to appreciate things the way we do RIGHT NOW.  We'll forget and go back to taking all our blessings for granted.  We always sort of do, myself included.  I swear, I won't let myself forget this.


That could have been my town.  My school.  My friends.  My neighbors.  My babies.
My world, gone.


Elizabeth said...

Beautiful post. I think our urges to connect, in whatever way, over-rule anything else in these horrific times. I understand your revulsion at what goes on Facebook, but I also see its power to witness.

icansaymama said...

You found the most wonderful words!

Alicia D said...

@elizabeth, i like fb and find it a wonderful community. i suppose, now that i really think about it, i just don't like people who have rants and opinions that are opposed to mine! LOL! perhaps if someone expressed the same opinions as me i would find it less offensive :)

kario said...

I am so glad that your babies are safe and loved. It took every ounce of self-control I had not to go snatch them up from school and bring them home and hug them until they couldn't stand it anymore.


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