What was the saddest moment this year?
Before it happened, I would have picked the untimely death of Whitney Houston. But then around two thirty last Friday, I began hearing the reports of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The numbers came pouring in from the likes of Facebook and various TV screens. First it was eighteen, then it just kept going. Twenty-seven in all.
My automatic reaction was that it had to be some kind of sick joke. A twenty year old breaks in to a school and opens fire on a classroom full of kindergarteners and other teachers nearby. Many of them ranged in ages from five to seven years old.
They were just babies...
The name and face of Adam Lanza is being shown everywhere, as though his twisted legacy is what we should remember. That yearbook photo, or whatever photo was chosen, is so incredibly haunting. I can't help but think of Norman Bates every time I see it.
And frankly, I'm tired of seeing it. Those kids and the teachers that died protecting them are the only ones we should focus on right now, not the killer. I understand that people want answers, especially the parents. But unfortunately, I feel that we're not going to get them right away, or perhaps not ever.
Those sweet babies....
The media is reporting every single little detail; survivors are being questioned and interviewed when they probably haven't even had time to process what happened. One tells of a bullet going right past his head. Another walks out covered in a classmates blood and says that he had to pretend that he had died. While there's no telling how they'll cope in the time to come, there's no denying that innocence has been lost.
Those sweet babies....
I can't read or watch anything without bursting into tears, particularly the funeral of the little boy who was saluted by the entire fire department because he'll never get to be one. Or when his best friend wrote him a simple, yet heartbreaking letter about how much he was going to miss him.
Those sweet babies...
Meanwhile, politics and the American people have started a verbal war of words over gun control. An issue no less that should be looked at closely and carefully. But what about the reasons behind why so many of these infamous shooters do this? What about the intense hatred and loneliness that courses through them, and that has been spilling out from every single one of us for decades?
All I know right now is that I will never be able to look at a young child again without wanting to pick them up and hold them; to whisper that it's going to be OK and that they can hold onto princesses and superheroes a little longer. But the reality is that nothing is completely safe anymore.
In the middle of all this, twenty-seven sets of parents and/or family members are doing the unthinkable by not only burying their children, but doing so in front of a dozen or more news cameras and photographers. While I get that the media is only trying to do their job, what about allowing these people to grieve peacefully and in private? I don't need the internet or a twenty four hour feed to know that their hearts are broken and might never be completely healed.
Rest in peace, sweet baby.
And in the depths of my soul, a small cynical part of me dares to ask "what or who is next?"
I hope and pray that no one ever has to find out.
I purposefully waited a little to bit to write this, because there were times when I didn't know how. This is not perfectly polished writing, but simply my train of thought as I try to wrap my head around all of it. I may be right and I may be wrong, I can't say. But God bless the children and their families, and may one day a light shine through it all.