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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Trying to Understand the Unthinkable

Ive been crying a lot recently. I don't live near Sandy Hook. I don't know anyone affected. But I'm a mother. And apparently, that's all it takes to be shaken to the very core.  My babies are nearly four and freshly one. We're not in elementary school yet. But even so, when I send W off to preschool twice a week, I never think twice about his safety. Might he get hit or bitten or trip down some steps? Sure. Might he be blown away by a semiautomatic weapon? Gee. Never even gave it a thought. I try my hardest not to think about those babies' final moments. I try not to look at their pictures online. I try not to watch or read the news. Not because I want to pretend it didn't happen. But because I simply can't function once I've imagined the fear and pain they felt - and the pain their families will feel for the rest of their lives. Every time I catch wind of it online or on tv, I break down into tears as painful and fresh as when the story broke. And as the world mourns, there's nothing we can do to help. During a plague or natural disaster, we can donate time or money or supplies. But when twenty babies are viciously and senselessly wiped from the planet, there's nothing anyone can do for the grieving families. And not being able to help is a terrible feeling.

In the wake of all of the violence, the talking heads are screaming into the wind. Was it the lack of gun control or lack of mental health assistance in our broken health care system? The chicken or the egg? Who knows. All I know, is that someone with some of the issues this young man had should not have had easy access to weapons. Machine Guns.

My mind is off in a thousand directions and it's hard for me to form coherent thoughts. All I can say is that none of this makes any sense. How could anyone be so sick? How could anyone look at a six year old and shoot them with a gun? It just doesn't make sense to me. So until it does, I will continue to cry for everyone involved.

I can't help the victims or their families. I can't make a donation or send supplies. But I can learn a lesson from all of this. Life is fleeting. You don't know how long you have, so you have to make the most of every minute. Before this shooting, W and I were in a bad place. He was constantly pushing my buttons and I was yelling. A lot. tears and yelling were an hourly affair. Then the shooting happened and I saw my babies in a completely different light. What if they were taken away from me suddenly and our last interaction was tears and yelling? I would be haunted with that forever. So I've been very careful about how I chose to handle situations. He's three. He's not going to be perfect. Do his actions really warrant that negative of a reaction from me? How else can I handle this situation? Life is short and I love my little babies endlessly. I can't reform gun control, I can't cure mental illness, I can't treat all the world's mental illness. But I can be the best mom I can be for my babies for as long as this big, blue marble permits me.

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