I have tried time and again to type this post. I just don't have words to begin to express my sorrow for all the innocent lives that were lost in Newtown on Friday. This wasn't the first time something like this has happened and I am sure it isn't the last. While I have always been deeply saddened by tragedies like these, it really hits home now that I have a child of my own.
These innocent children had Christmas presents waiting to be opened. They were eagerly counting down the days until Santa Claus shimmied down their chimneys and brought toys to them. They were only 6 or 7 years old, still babies. They still had their baby teeth, still saw the wonder of the common things we as adults take for granted like spider webs and snow flakes. They had dreams of what they were going to be when they grew up. All of this was taken from these children and their families in an instant.
My mind imagines that morning as the parents hurried to get the children off to school and get to work or get back home to chase other children around. The hug and kiss goodbye, the have a great day, maybe a reminder such as when you get home we are going to go Christmas shopping for daddy or build a gingerbread house or watch the Grinch and eat popcorn. The little children skipping off to school without a care in the world. The excited near hysteria that falls on classrooms of children eagerly awaiting Santa.
I try not to imagine the thoughts that went through those children and adults minds when they realized that their school was under attack, but it is hard not to. I read stories of how adults gave their lives to try to save these children and it shakes me to my core although I know I would do the same thing. I just hope that nobody suffered too much.
The children that were survivors of this cruel and senseless tragedy also have lost much. They lost their innocence far too young. They were faced with sights and sounds no one should ever have to hear or see. I just hope that they too are able to find peace one day.
|A lit candle for all the lives lost |
I am choosing to use this tragedy as a reminder to cherish each and every moment I have with my son. He is growing up so fast as it is. Newtown is a reminder that you just never know how much time you have left on earth. I rocked my son extra this week inhaling his sweet baby smelling hair and trying to memorize exactly what it feels like to hold him in my arms. I told him I love him at least double the normal amount of I love you's in a day. I eagerly danced with him, sang him songs, and played imaginary games with him. These are the moments that count in life. So what if I didn't get my house all cleaned up or Christmas cards sent out. I made memories with the precious gift God has given me.
I also am letting this tragedy serve as a reminder to not let a day go by without doing good for someone else. There were so many stories of heroism out of this. The teacher who shielded her students giving her own life to save them, the principal who was shot while trying to overtake the shooter, the janitor who ran from class room to class room alerting teachers and saving lives in the process. While I hope to never be put in a situation like this, I can do good for others daily. Whether it is in donating to charity or adopting an angel from an angel tree and letting a less fortunate child have a great Christmas or visiting a nursing home, these all have impacts on someone else.
I have been having trouble sleeping at night since I heard news of this tragedy. My mind is full of the what if's and the desire to go stare at my son as he sleeps is great. In the moments where I can't sleep, I have resorted to just talking with God. Bible verses also make me feel a bit better when I am anxious and sad. These are a few of my favorites.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
I have told you these things so that you will have peace of heart and mind, Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows, but cheer up, for I have overcome the world
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