Monday, December 17, 2012
On the 7th Day of The Reverse Commute: I Couldn’t Find My Words
I returned home from Rhode Island on Friday to the heartbreaking news coming out of Newtown, Connecticut. I had planned to write my seventh blog but words failed me. Instead I sank down on the couch, riveted to the TV with tears in my eyes.
I couldn’t stop thinking about my daughters, both of whom live in Colorado now. I wanted so badly to hug them across the miles. I thought back to the time when they still believed in Santa Claus. Christmas for my husband and I became magical when seen through their eyes. We took time out of work to visit their elementary school for the holiday play. How adorable they all looked up on the stage singing Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs while the music teacher played the piano. “Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go! Up on the housetop, click, click, click, Down thru’ the chimney with good Saint Nick.”
I remembered the year my older daughter got the role of Mrs. Claus and how proud we were of her. I can still see her now in her green plaid dress with her little white mobcap askew on her curly blond head.
As if it where just yesterday, I see the two of them running downstairs on Christmas morning shouting “Did he come yet? Did Santa come?” One year their Uncle Tom sent a letter from Santa Claus along with reindeer food and special instructions to scatter the food around the backyard as our house had been chosen to be a fueling station for Santa’s reindeer. They were so excited they could barely fall asleep and both of them swore the next morning they heard the reindeer on the roof.
For the children of Newtown and children everywhere, I hope that kind of innocence wasn’t lost forever on Friday. It is incomprehensible to imagine what happened in The Sandy Hook Elementary School this holiday season. Words fail me. My heart aches. I can so vividly feel the panic those parents must have felt when they received the reverse 911 phone call. Your knees shake, your stomach drops, you think the worst while hoping for the best.
I can only hope that we as a nation come to realize we need to do something to stop this from ever happening again. I was moved by President Obama’s speech last night. I agree we have failed our children. There is a huge difference between owning a handgun or a hunting rifle versus having access to the kind of weapons used by the gunman on Friday. If anything comes out of this senseless tragedy I can only hope that it will be the nation coming together to make sure this never happens again.