Even now, at 23, there is still quite a bit I don't understand about the world around me. That seems almost silly to me to post or say, because I'm sure I'll get to be about 80 and still not understand a lot. But there are days where I wish I understood why things happen, just out of the selfish want of knowing and comfort in knowing.
I, like most of America, was devastated by the news Friday afternoon about Newtown. I watched another bleak moment in history unfold just this year. As the day went on, I watched the death toll go up. I watched families suffer. I watched people begin to argue, pointing blame every which way, saying all sorts of absurd things to defend their view. And it all happened at an elementary school I had never heard of, in a town I had never been to, miles and miles away from myself or anyone I was close to. But the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school affected me in ways some can't understand.
Before I go on, I will say I am not making this post to assert any viewpoint or post blame. And you won't find a "R.I.P" or "Do this to remember them" post here. What I think led to this or how I mourn does not concern anyone but me. But I will post how I felt, beyond the initial reaction of wanting justice and the urge to sit down and cry.
In my 23 years, I've seen disasters happen, everyone has. School shootings, natural disasters, wars, attacks....I could say I've seen it all, even though I haven't. And every time something this devastating has occurred, it affects me, even if it's on a spiritual level. I share sadness with those affected, I feel the wounds they feel. All I want to do is be of some solace, far beyond postings like this over the internet the victims will likely never see. In the end, I do nothing but watch.
But the attack at Sandy Hook hit me far worse than any other event I have been a witness to. And I know it is mostly because I am a mother now and my view on everything has drastically changed. I saw what happened to the families who lost such young children, mother and fathers who lost their grownup babies. And all I could think was it could happen to me. And that day, I couldn't stop putting myself through mental terror at wondering what if my daughter had been shot. What if she was gone one day? What if I never saw her again. What if...what if...what if.... I scared myself silly that night, probably for no reason, though I didn't voice anything. Either way, I ended up hugging Owlfish a little tighter and sending thanks to my gods that I still had her with me. Even if it did fill me with a small guilt that I still had my child and 27 families out there did not...27 families who will look at the gift under trees that will never get opened, clothes that will never been worn again, silence instead of laughing.
Even after how good today was; waking up next to my love, watching Abbie's eyes light up at the talkign Star Trek ornament on the Christmas tree, finding out I got accepted Georgia State University to go back to college...I still caught myself thinking "This all could vanish". The steady stream of news still coming from Connecticut and the reactions still escalating on any social media are constant reminders of how we should feel lucky we are ok, but not forget those affected. I know I'm not alone in wanting the ability to just hug those affected, be there to support them, remind them of every empty comfort of their children being in a better place.
But again, I won't get that chance. In the end, for those in Newtown, it'll just take time for healing. Time to mourn and wonder. Time to be angry. And then one day, eventually accept and move on. The least we unaffected could do is be part of that healing process. Be a positive force to pick up the pieces. Is this post just stream of conscious ramblings? Probably. Do you think I'm being dramatic? I wouldn't be surprised. But I won't argue with you, as long as you take a moment to feel too. Even if it sadness, even if it's hope. And to take the time to love more. The world needs more love for each other.
When I put Owlfish to bed tonight (with her little panda hat on) turned on her movie for her, I knew and accepted how lucky I am. It's the old adage of "Count your blessings" or "Here today, gone tomorrow". It's what I'll try to remember when I light a prayer candle and say a prayer tonight.
I've run out of words. But know this, you are loved by someone. Even if it's just me.