Friday, December 14, 2012

I'm at work

We're all in shock - disbelief -

Like so many people across the country, we've heard about the horrific, the tragic shooting in Connecticut

We're struggling to find words to express our feelings
We're struggling to comprehend, to understand, to wrap our arms, our head, and our hearts around how and why something like this can happen

On Facebook, on Twitter, on pick your form of social media, people are praying
People are expressing their disbelief and grief
Some are calling for gun control - some are saying let's not talk about that now, pray and grieve
Others are expressing their need to go and get their own children, to hug them tightly
Some are saying they can’t even imagine what those involved must be thinking and feeling
A few are saying thank goodness I don’t have to think or feel what those involved are

There are thousands of parents out there sitting at their desks as unfocused as I am because they can't fathom what it would be like to receive such a call
Because we can't reconcile in our mind why someone would do something like this to innocent children and adults
We're thinking if our children are not safe at school....

In the days to come, we'll hear all kinds of arguments for gun control
We'll hear arguments stating no amount of gun control could have or would have prevented this
We'll see an increase in the interest for home schooling
People will demand that schools be made safer, more security measures put in place
People will argue God can't exist if he allows something like this to happen
Someone else will argue God let this happen because we kicked him out of our schools and the public sector

My husband's reaction was of shock and grief
There was a lump in his throat as we talked and a couple times a catch in his voice
My husband is one of those people who jumps to gun control when he hears about things like this
Being English, he does not “get” the American Right to Bear Arms - it confounds and confuses him and frankly, just does not make sense to him
Nor does it make sense to so many of his countrymen we speak with
To Americans who believe in it, it's a constitutional right and sacred
My husband is not wrong
Nor or those who believe in their right to bear arms

A work colleague made the observation this is how he knows God does not exist
He's also one who criticizes organized religion (especially “those” Catholics) on a regular basis and thinks any "religious" holiday is just an excuse to not work
He’s not wrong

My cousin, who has a heart as big as Texas, is asking for prayers for the children, the teachers, the families and friends
She’s not wrong either

My boss, who as he has gotten older has gotten more sensitive, is just in shock
He just keeps shaking his head and asking why - he wonders what is happening in the world...and then muses about how hard raising kids is nowadays,....keeping them safe and sound, teaching them right from wrong...the world is not the way it used to be he used to be easier
I don’t think he’s wrong

A woman I work with had to walk away from her computer because she could not stop reading about it and watching the live news feeds
She called her husband just because...and had that pull to go and pick up her daughter.....and wondered aloud about home schooling
She's not wrong

When I saw the headline flash across my screen, I had to read it a couple times before I understood what it meant

I read as many news feeds as I could find in a five minute window
I watched Lester Holt deliver a live report from the anchor desk about what was going on
And then I fled to Facebook to see what was being said

And I prayed
And I had an overwhelming urge to go get Lucy
And call my Mum and Dad

I thought about my nephews in Oklahoma and wondered what his parents, my brother and sister-in-law must be thinking at this moment

I wondered if my nephew in Maine, who is home sick today, would see this on the news and what he would think - and I wonder how tightly his Mum, my sister will hug him tonight

I thought of my sister who is a teacher at an elementary school - I can only imagine what is running through her mind...and I wonder if she ever thinks about something like this happening

I thought of Lucy - of how...of how my world would be without her...of what I would do if ever....

And then I cried
I sat at my desk and let the tears run down my face
I cried for the same reason everyone else is crying, demanding gun control, questioning the existence of God and hugging their children
I cried for the kids, for the parents, for the families whose lives have been devastated, forever changed on what was seemingly a normal Friday morning as they dropped their kids off for school
And I wasn't wrong either

When I picked Lucy up the other day, I was talking to Barbara about some of the lesson they are working on in class right now - being polite, showing respect and being kind
Miss Barbara said to me she thinks being kind, raising a kind child, is one of the best things we can do as parents

If we were more kind to one another, Miss Barbara said, the world would be a better place

Truer words have never been spoken - they've been spoken before and will be spoken again
Someday, maybe we'll listen and actually be kind

In the meantime

Fight for gun control
Fight against gun control
Think what if
Forgive if you need to forgive
Hug your children
Let them stay up a bit later tonight and have dessert before dinner
Linger in the doorway as they sleep, or better yet, let them climb in bed with you tonight

Do whatever you have to do to deal with whatever it is you're thinking and feeling and let everyone else do the same

In a week or two, the headlines will start to fade

For some, it will be over - now and then a passing thought will be given to today's tragic events but they'll move on

For some, this has forever changed their life......their family, the very essence of their beings have been rocked to the core
Normal will never be normal for them again

For others, they'll struggle with coming to grips with it - struggle to understand and explain to their children, to themselves, why something like this can happen in this world

And some people will learn from this
They'll be kinder
Say please and thank you a bit more
They'll have more respect for one another
They’ll have more respect for this gift of life
They'll cherish their children a bit more than they did yesterday
They'll do what they can to keep themselves and their loved ones safe

And then maybe the world will be a kinder place..................

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