Tomorrow will mark one year since twenty-six babies and six adults were massacred in Newtown, CT while doing the most routine thing possible, being in school. I’ll admit, I had zero intentions of writing anything about it, like most of America I’ve been trying to forget it.
A year ago I sat in a client’s office working, wondering about Christmas, if my brother and his family were flying in from Arizona, should I try to hit the mall after work to get some gifts for the family and wondering how bad the Holland Tunnel traffic was. Then, I got a text, opened my web browser and everything changed.
I felt horrible, and like the President, had tears in my eyes when I thought of it. After the Newtown massacre I couldn’t stop thinking about how it must feel like to hug and kiss your baby in the morning and then later realize that that was the last hug, the last kiss. I was sorrowful but it didn’t hit home, not really. Then, I saw an interview with a Newtown father who, just that morning made plans with his little boy to decorate their tree the next day. There are no words to convey the depth of loss and pain in that man’s face. I wanted to get up and walk across the room and get the remote and change the channel then watch something mindless or do something mindless or eat something to distract myself from internalizing his pain but I couldn’t move. Then, when the interview was done, I cried for that dad and twenty-five other families that would never spend another day with their loved ones.
That’s when it hit home for me. After that I couldn’t sleep for days. I silently panicked every time I dropped my daughter off at school. To this day, even a year later I put my hand on my daughter’s head every single day she leaves for school and pray for her safe return home.
God, please protect her, I pray. Or, God, thank you for protecting her, I pray. Or, God, if someone has to go please take me. Please.
As I write this my chest is tight and my eyes burn and the panicked feeling that I felt whenever she left for school is coming back.
I wish I could write eloquently about gun control and gun violence and the need for better health care for the mentally ill. I’ve done the research and tried to put the ideas together but I just can’t. All I think about are babies here one second, gone the next, dying in terror at the whims of a madman. I think that despite babies being killed almost nothing has been done about guns in this country. Then I get angry and I have to calm down and pray, along with just about every other parent in America, that a madman with weapons and a grudge never walks through the door.