I just dumped this out of my brain. I needed a release and so I turned to writing for 20 minutes. It’s not edited. It’s not a finished piece by any means. I rarely share my writing with my friends and family. But I needed to get this out of my insides. And I thought someone may want to read it. Also, my boyfriend maybe have pressured me to post it.
I work for a human rights organization. An organization that deals with sadness and tragedy on a daily basis. I’ve dealt with death of close family members more than most of my friends. I don’t cry. I’m known to be callous on the outside. And have even been accused of lacking empathy from time to time. I don’ have patience for stupidity and I often ignore the opinions of others, knowing I’m most often right.
Today – I was caught off guard. I hurt in a way I didn’t know I could hurt. I hurt for children on the other side of the country who took their last breaths in fear. Who watched their classmates die and whose innocence was robbed, whether or not they survived.
I lost my mom when I was nearly 16, my brother almost 12. We watched her take her final breathers and said goodbye, knowing she’d never watch us graduate or get married or meet her presumed grandkids. I hugged my grandma as she saw her daught’s lifeless body wheeled away on a gurny to be put into an incinerator somewhere, per her own wishes. All she could explain was that no parent should ever have to say goodbye to their own child. But she did.
I’ve dealt with that. And I’ve moved on.
That’s why I don’t cry. Not because I don’t care but because I’ve been there and my heart has broken so much that it sometimes can’t break again.
But today it broke and I can’t seem to get it to stop breaking.
Elementary school was the backdrop to some of the fondest memories of my life.
I worked at a daycare for 2+ years of my life, and nannied for a similar amount of time. My mom was an elementary school teacher. I spent a lot of time surrounded by kids. I spent a lot of time in hallways, seeing the drawings of kindergarten classes lining the walls. I’ve seen lots of children learn something, their eyes filled with joy as they realize their own capacity. Kids bring me a joy I can’t explain. There’s not much more I love than holding a little one, asking them questions, engaging their curiosity in a way that most brush off.
I want to do something. I want to stand on mountaintops and yell for people to throw away their guns. To rid themselves of the tool used to end so many precious young lives. I want to yell for parents to be aware of then children’s mental state. For society to look away from their phones for a second and remember that we live in a world filled with broken people, and it’s our responsibility to care for them.
But I can’t. All I can do is cry for these babies. Cry for this little souls that will be laid to rest. Cry for the parents who have to move on without their most precious of gems. Cry for the shooter, who so desperately needed love but allowed evil to consume him. Cry for the kids who saw their friends bleeding. Cry for the city of Newtown as they have to move forward, with a dark mark on their history. Cry for our nation as we continue to face such tragedies and not know to stop them. Cry for each and every one of us. Because this life is precious and it could be gone in one minute.
Today I will squeeze my loved ones a little tighter.
Today I will be so thankful I had years to say goodbye to my mom. Because even though a piece of me is missing forever, I knew it was coming and was able to give her one last kiss, one last I love you, and paint her toenails for one last time.
Today I will continue to make my voice heard on the issue of gun violence, because it’s nothing but disrespectful to these children to let their deaths pass without speaking out for them. Because without those wicked weapons, who knows how today would have resulted.
If you’re reading this – you are loved. And today, share that love with someone else.