Whether through the internet or watching on TV or being there in person, we’ve experienced unimaginable tragedy in the last 24 hours. Honestly, I am still in shock. Aren’t we the most technologically advanced country in the world? The wealthiest? Some say the greatest? And yet in one of our schools, our neighborhoods, children among the majority in this event, were killed in a senseless act of violence.
It hard to know what to do in the wake of something like this. I know I’m struggling with this. We’ve had our cat, Buddy, for about a month now, and I think he’s starting to get in a groove of sorts with us. So when he tried to snuggle with me as I’m climbing into bed last night, Timothy’s trying not to wake up, Buddy’s trying to lay down on the magazine I’m trying to read – it hit me like a ton of bricks that there were parents in Connecticut that went to bed last night without their children. It felt selfish to feel so blessed to have an awesome spouse and a weird cat – what feels more and more like a family. Blessed with our lives, with this oddly shaped marriage and Buddy who stares at me funny when I start singing to him for no reason at all. I feel so blessed, and yet so empty knowing that there were couples who suddenly had an empty hole in their hearts and their homes last night as they went to bed without their child, their student, their hope.
If there could be a “most appropriate” response to a horrific tragedy of an elementary school shooting – I feel all I can do is tell those closest to me that I love them. My mom was a 1st-2nd grade teacher, and today I told her that I was glad she made it through the lock-downs she conducted with her students through a handful of times over the last 15 years. No violence ever occurred, but the precautions were rightly taken. Two of those lock-downs there was a gunman in the area. She locked the door, pulled down the shades, and reassured her students that their parents were doing everything they could to make sure the students would be safe after school got out.
My heart is so heavy tonight for all the children, brothers, sisters, students and teachers and administrators who lost their lives yesterday. I am in awe of the bravery and courage displayed during this day and every day of teaching and instruction that happens every day across our country, across our world.
So, honestly, call your loved ones tonight. Tell them you love them and hold them close.
Some closing words from the best, Mr. Rogers – “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.“