I remember watching the coverage of the shooting at Columbine at the Campus Grill on Temple University's campus. I remember sobbing as I put Nicholas into his going home outfit as I digested the horrors of Sandy Hook--he was 3 days old. And today, I'll remember as the day Lily got back on the water and rowing, when I heard about Robb Elementary School.
I don't want to send my kids to school tomorrow. I will send them. But I will be on edge all day. The world shouldn't be this way, friends. But try as we do (and even when we don't try very hard), evil creeps in. I don't know what the solution is--truly. In an ideal world the guns would be buried deep in the ground; the mentally ill would be loved and treated; there would be no violence or crime or murder and our police officers would not be officers of defense and protection; but community helpers and supporters.
But, this isn't reality. The guns exist. The mental illness exists. And here we are, again.
I think in times like this, when nothing makes sense and everything is horrific and I am both irrationally and rationally scared, the only solution I have is to pray. I know everyone gets all up and arms when "thoughts and prayers" are offered; but friends someone has to think and someone has to pray. And maybe, if we truly prayed, our thoughts would get us to a solution to the horrors that feel preventable and an end to attacks on our school children, perpetuated by other school children.
Because despite everyone's best, minimal, whatever efforts, we clearly haven't solved this problem yet.
We are all quick to anger and fear and finger pointing. Retrospective thoughts do nothing to bring back the lives of the at least 18 children and one teacher murdered today.
So, don't offer thoughts and prayers--but do it. Think, pray, think some more, pray and let that guide you to act. I don't have any idea how I should act or what I should do. Literally, no idea. Donate to organizations activating for stricter gun control? What are they going to do? Truly, what are they going to do? Support mental health services and advocacy? Well, what good is that if no one listens. I cannot even get my child a test without a Scan-tron answer sheet without calling the school daily--how in the world would anyone get their child mental health services that are lasting and complete? Is it enough to take responsibility for my children and ensure they don't grow up to be monsters who murder? To teach them to be viligant and on the look out for the monsters who do? But then what? Do I teach my children to hide in a corner or run for their lives? Do keep them home and away from the world--the beauty and the horrors?
I don't know. I don't think anyone knows. I think we need to pray. We need to pray and pray and then think and think and then, the most important part: we need to act and make a change.
For tonight, I am watching my three not-so-baby babies sleep. I am reminding myself that we are blessed and they are safe, right now. I am praying for the parents still looking for their babies--empty beds tonight that should be filled. And I am praying for protection over my children at school tomorrow and I am praying I am never so close to evil that it is in my children's school.
And I am praying no child ever has to hide beneath their desk or run for their lives. I am praying we all think and act and pray and find a way to defeat this evil, once and for all.