I don’t even know how to begin putting my thoughts into words. This tragedy in Connecticut has me captivated, in all of the worst ways. I just feel sick to my stomach.
I am that mother. That sister. That cousin. It could have been my son, my brother, my cousins, my friends’ children… it could have been any child I go to church with, any child I knew from when my mom did daycare for years and years.
That town in Connecticut is like my own. It’s small. Many people who live there are relatively affluent. The school is about the same size as my school, the town about the size of my town. The type of area is so much like my own. It’s my town, really, only in Connecticut.
The tragedy they are going through could have unfolded here just as easily as it did there. It could have been the next town over, a town in the state next to mine, a town in your area. It could have been anywhere.
It’s easy to rationalize tragedies that happen to adults. When an NFL player in my area killed his girlfriend, then killed himself, I was stricken with how horrible that situation was, but at least that is something I could comprehend, that he went through such a delusion, such a struggle, that there was domestic turmoil. But what causes someone to kill that many innocent children? Who goes and kills 20 5-year-olds?
That’s not to say that any violence is okay, or justifiable, or understandable. It’s not. It’s all beyond the grasp that people understand.
But I just feel like there’s always been this line that wasn’t crossed. Shootings happened in schools, but, it was high schools, colleges… those deaths aren’t okay, it’s NOT okay, but this line, it was crossed when someone decided to go into a school and kill very young children.
I know it will hit me even harder in the coming days, that media will show the images of these children. I will see the similarities, maybe a boy with blonde hair much like my son’s. Maybe a young soccer player, like my brother. Maybe a young girl who played with dolls, much like I did as a child. There are presents under those peoples’ trees, waiting for Christmas celebrations. Others are in the midst of Hannukah celebrations.
It’s senseless. It’s terrifying. I can’t comprehend it yet, let alone know how to share that with others.
I find myself turning the television back to the news. I find myself being afraid to head to the mall to shop this weekend. I see myself hugging my son a little tighter. And I see myself sitting there, tissue in hand, wondering what if it happened here? What if this was in my town instead of that town in Connecticut? What if it was my brothers’ friends involved instead of those people there?
It could just as easily happen here. There’s a strong chance there will be copycat shootings following this; there almost always seem to be.
So the question is, where do we go from here?
I’m still not sure. All I can do is pray. Hope, pray, and keep going. Hold my son and brother tighter. Remember that God has his hands on the situation, on our country, and on my family. I have to remember that God is in control. I have to hold strong to that faith, absolutely.