Friday, December 14, 2012
My Dear Children,
I wanted to write you about today but like I have shielded you from some of the details of the pain I went through when I lost Andrew and E, I know you aren't ready (nor should you be) to know about the horrific details of today. Still I know that today is a day that will go down in history and so I wanted to share with you my thoughts on it not on our family blog that you sometimes read but on the blog I imagine you will learn about one day, when you're ready.
On Sunday, we will sit you down and tell you that some very sad things happened in a school in another state. That some children died. We will pray for their families and I will tell you that I know that there may be some children that will talk about it in school but that some of them may not know the whole story and that sometimes they say things that aren't true. We will also tell you not to believe what you hear but to ask us and talk to us about it if you ever want to. And I hope you will. I also hope that you will not talk to others about it. That this can be scary or sad and that it is something children should talk about with their parents.
You have all (especially you, Jonasen) been very forthcoming with questions about sadness and sorrow and death. I pray that I can follow your lead as I have in the past. That God will give me the words I should tell you in a way that is appropriate for what your young hearts can handle. This has always been a fine line for me as I often wonder what my poor old heart can handle.
The sad truth is there is sadness in this world. As a teacher, I have heard some things that have made my heart sick. Losing your brother and sister made my heart sick and learning that there are so many more families grieving their children tonight makes me heartsick.
It makes me sad.
A coworker first asked me if I had heard the news. She told me there had been a school shooting and I assumed it was a high school somewhere. Then I learned of the number dead. Then I learned of the ages.
Zach. You are in kindergarten.
When I came home you wrapped your arms around me and told me you loved me and you'd never let go. I told you that you could stay that way forever. Today I felt that you could. Knowing that someone in this world would never have those five year old arms they felt just that morning wrap around their neck again, nearly broke me, but I didn't let it. The odd thing about sorrow is you are given just as much strength as you need to get you through a moment. Just enough to breathe in and out.
I haven't seen any pictures from today. I haven't heard any news stories. I'm not sure that I want to.
I also want you to know how fearful I am of guns. How the idea of having them in my school scares me. How having them in your school PETRIFIES me. I often wonder what is happening to our state, our country, the world... I sometimes wonder what God wants us to do with this. I hold my hands out and am still. I am used to having questions go unanswered. But still it makes my heart sick.
Last night we painted ornaments for Andrew. We painted ornaments for E. We painted ornaments for two other babies you and I had hoped would stay but left too soon. Life has some tremendous sadness and if you aren't careful, it can swallow you up.
That is what I am afraid of. I am afraid of the sadness and the anger that swallows you up. Because when it does, you are lost. I don't know, but I imagine those who commit such horror have been swallowed up. Lost.
So be kind to others. Smile often. Hug. Don't underestimate the power of a loving touch on someone's shoulder or asking someone how they are~ if you see someone getting swallowed up, hold out your hand. Rescue them. Just like there are tragedies in this world, there are also miracles. You were all a miracle to me. You can be a miracle to others.
Just like one lost soul can change the world, so can one brave soul. You can change the world by reaching out and saving someone. By being an ear.
The children are OK. They are in heaven and whole. Their families are not. They are in a lot of pain and will be for years and years to come and for that I am heartsick.
I love you,