Wednesday, December 19, 2012
My 3 children were in high school when the Columbine shooting happened. After that I worried about bad things happening to them until they were all out of high school. My husband was an active Fire Fighter when the Twin Towers fell in NYC. From then on I worried about him whenever he went to work, but in a different way than I had before. My daughter was a student at NIU when a shooting happened on that campus February 14th and for the next two years anxiety ruled her life as she continued her studies there. I learned after that to become more anxious myself. My son was a student at SIU when gun violence erupted at the Virginia Tech campus. He was 8 hours away from home and I worried about him every single day. Today, my daughter is a grade school teacher in Illinois. And I am worried again. We don't now nor have we ever lived in Colorado, New York, Dekalb IL, Virginia or Connecticut. But I gotta tell ya....it doesn't and didn't make me any less sad or grief stricken for other parents or any less afraid and anxious for my kids safety. This latest thing in Connecticut???? It proves to me that I am not a writer. I've read the posts of my favorite bloggers and have been rendered mute, awestruck, and moved to tears by the heartfelt emotion I've experienced coming from their souls. After I read this one, and this one, and then this one, I started crying and have yet to stop. I did not know any of those sweet little kids, but my heart feels broken just the same. Their words are exactly the words that are written on my heart and I didn't know how to put my own heart thoughts into written form. I am struggling to type out even this post. Maybe it's true what she says....maybe my silence is my way of grieving. Maybe I'm not supposed to put my thoughts to words. Maybe, for this, I am supposed to just feel the grief and process it a different way. My daughter? The one who was at the NIU campus?? She teaches 3rd grade. I can only imagine how she feels. I've talked with her of course, but still and all....it's gotta be difficult to actually be in a classroom after something like this happens. She says that on Friday, when she heard the news of the shooting at lunch time, her kids were coming back in from lunch recess, and all she could do was stare at them. Their little 8 year old faces. And she told me that she just could not imagine anything like what happened in Connecticut happening in her own classroom. She talked about their cute little innocent faces, all red cheeked with the cold as they came through the door of the classroom. She talked about the upcoming winter break and how the kids were already going stir crazy knowing that Christmas was only days away, how they were excited and loud, and boisterous. She talked about her own fears of what she, herself would do in a situation like Sandy Hook. And both of us cried. For the loss of life of those little children. And then she kept crying because she's stressed and over scheduled. On Friday she and her husband are leaving for their honeymoon and she needs to pack and do laundry and she needs to lesson plan and grade report cards and clean her house and mail out Christmas cards. And I comforted this daughter of mine. Do what you can I tell her. Don't stress about cleaning the house or sending out those Christmas cards. Pack your bags and get ready to go on a much deserved vacation. On a much needed vacation. I don't think I helped her very much though. My daughter is a worrier. It's what she does. She learned from the best.