Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Newtown, Connecticut

As parents, the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School shook us to our core. The emotions it stirred in us range from anger to hope for change. Today we share Elissa and Irene's reactions to the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

Elissa L.

This time of the year is usually filled with hope and joy. After the tragedy that happened on Friday in Connecticut many are left with a feeling of loss and sadness. Personally, I cannot find a way to really comprehend what happened. One mentally unstable person walked into an elementary school and in a few minutes changed everything. As the news unfolded, I cried as my heart broke for the families and I became scared. Scared for my child's safety. This act seems so random. The not knowing why makes it even more terrifying. I dreaded Sunday night, knowing that there was school the next day. With only 2 and a half days until winter break I brought up the idea to my husband about keeping our daughter home. Our daughter who is the same age as most of those children who were killed at Sandy Hook. My husband understood my feelings, but he also knew that eventually we would have to send her to school. He reminded me that as much as I want to, we can't keep our kids in a bubble.

The Monday after the shooting I dropped my daughter off at school. I smiled at her, hugged her close and kissed her head. She walked into her school with her little rolling backpack. She still had no idea about what had happened, in a school, just like hers, to kids, just her age. I got back into my car, looked up to see the flag at half mast and just lost it. It took everything I had not to park the car and run and grab my daughter and keep her next to me. I cried because I was afraid to send my daughter to school. This is how many parents felt that Monday morning. This is so wrong.

The fear may seem irrational and maybe I'm overreacting, but to me it is very real. I know that the fear will eventually subside. It will not consume my mind. I will be able to pick up my daughter from school without dropping to my knees, thanking God for her safety.

Irene Q. 

Newtown, Connecticut really is a new town today. You never know what will change your life and why? But there's nothing more incomprehensible than what occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary this past Friday. It's what happens all too often in our country, but at this magnitude, the world suddenly takes notice. No child, no parent, no human being for that matter, should lose their life in such an unnatural and unjust way. I rack my brain thinking about what I can do to change this for all children. 

And I, like Elissa, dreaded taking my 6 year old to school the first morning back after this tragic event.   I was in contact with his counselor and his teacher. In my subconscious maybe I thought they'd have the magical cure assuring me how this will never happen again. Truth it, there is no magical answer no matter how much I wish there was. 

What I do know however, is that I refuse to live in fear. I am faith-based and must believe in goodness above all else. I must believe in the power of prayer and teach my children to be brave and strong. So I took my son to school and rattled off my usual good-bye: "I love you. God bless you. Have a great day." Then I watched him excitedly and innocently run into school thinking about those children who will never get a chance to do such a simple thing again! 

My heart breaks for the families that have suffered such an imaginable loss. Today, I love my children even more presently, more fully. I give them the strongest of love hoping it reaches far beyond them and into the souls of those sweet angels that left our world too soon. I stand up for peace and pray for the healing of those left to mourn. And try my best to remember that I cannot put a question mark where God has placed a period. 

We are not alone in the emotions we are feeling. Please feel free to share yours with HerMamas.com. 
In some way, we know that sharing our feelings will heal everyone's hearts. 
Together, we can find solutions. 
Together, we can make this world better so that those that lost their lives didn't do so in vain.

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