I know I'm not alone in this. My heart is still so heavy. Maybe it's because I have a niece the same age as those twenty sweet children. Maybe it's because every time I see the gifts under my tree, I know there are twenty sets of parents dreading Christmas morning for the same reasons I am looking forward to it. Maybe it's because every time I hear my daughter laugh or say Mom-my, my heart goes out to those parents who dropped their children off a week ago and will never hear their sweet voices again.
I feel guilty for that breath of relief I breathed when I heard the massacre wasn't in Oklahoma, Texas or Alabama where our friends and family live. I feel disappointed that something so horrible has managed to divide our country and friends on political issues, rather than banding us together for much-needed support.
I don't know why these things happen. I try not to question God too much. But this is one of the times I can't stop asking why. Why twenty children? Why the first grade teacher who saved her students' lives? Why right in the middle of the holidays? Why was every single person shot multiple times, to the point that loved ones were asked to ID them by photograph in order to spare themselves additional heartache? If there is a lesson we are supposed to learn in this - what is it???
The only thing that brings me, and probably anyone else, any comfort is the thought that all of those precious babies and teachers were welcomed right into Jesus' loving arms. Any terror and pain they suffered in their last minute here on Earth was automatically erased, never to be experienced or remembered again as their little hearts were filled with joy.
The nightmare that these parents are going through on Earth and the grieving they will go through every Christmas, every birthday, the classmates' senior prom and graduation because the otherwise joyous occasion is marked by the fact that their child isn't there to participate - I know there's no comfort to give them, but I hope that the hurt in their hearts can be somewhat alleviated by the knowledge that a whole country is mourning with them. For them.
Let's let the legacy of these sweet children and teachers be one of love rather than a political agenda. At a time when it feels like the entire country is in the midst of a crisis, let's band together and put religious and political differences aside to fill the space around us with hope and love.
My family plans to get involved in Project Linus in honor of Sandy Hook. Project Linus gives handmade blankets to children suffering from crisis or terminal illness, including Surviving Sandy Hook Students.