My heart bleeds for the families that have to endure the loss of their babies due to the recent massacre in Newtown, CT. I was in a toy store when my mom called me with the news, but it didn’t hit me instantly. As you see, we are a nation that has endured many senseless tragedies. From Columbine to Arizona to Colorado…we’ve seen it happen. We live. We grieve. We heal. Never completely, but with time, we do get better. It wasn’t until I sat down to eat lunch, did I fully realize the extent of what happened.
There were several conflicting reports about the shooter, the number of casualties and exactly what happened. But, there was one thing that was certain. There are mothers who unknowingly kissed their babies goodbye for the last time. There are fathers whose promises to their sons about the weekend’s activities that will go unfulfilled. There is most likely an older sibling that is grieving even more, because the last words at breakfast were something like, “I hate having a little brother/sister!” And sadly, there are gifts under the Christmas trees, that will never be opened by the intended sweet angel.
As I ate my lunch in a public place and perused social media, it became real and then suddenly surreal. I began to think, “That could have been one of my babies….I could have been on the other end of the phone conversation hearing those God-awful words…This could have have been me.” Uncontrollably, I began to sob – to the point that a concerned patron came over and asked if everything was ok. I told her why I was so upset. She said she hadn’t heard the news and immediately, we began to pray. There we were, a stranger and myself off in the corner of a popular restaurant at lunchtime, posturing and clasping arms and hands as if we were old friends or family. At that moment in time, we were family.
Anticipated but always caught off guard, I cringe when I have to answer my children’s inevitable questions about things like this, except for: “God knows what he’s doing…we often times don’t. Yes, this is extremely sad, but God will take care of everyone during this time. The best thing we can do is to just pray.” As parents, we sometimes worry about our kids hurting themselves or being hurt by others, but it is quite unimaginable for us to fathom that we would ever have to lay our children to rest. Sometimes there are sacrificial lambs that God uses to bring us closer to Him, to those we love and those we need to love more…before our own personal tragedies.
Such a dreadfully familiar scenario, as a country, we are once again clasping virtual hands and mourning together as we grieve this loss of such precious little lives. May we continue to pray for those that lost loved ones in this tragedy. This truly makes me want to squeeze my cherubs even tighter, kiss their faces and tell them incessantly how much I love them. We need to make sure that they know – not just today, but everyday.
Please join us in praying for the families in Newtown, CT.
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