Friday was my husbands 39th birthday. He worked extra hard all week to try for most of the day off, and in the end he was able to get home around 12:30. We decided on an impromptu lunch before the kids would get home from school and as luck would have it a number of our friends, my sister and brother-in-law were off as well so we all headed out to a fun birthday lunch for my man! Little did we know that a little over 3 hours away in Connecticut an unimaginable horror had occurred.
We gathered, hugged, wished John a happy birthday, grabbed a drink and sat down. In the distance we could see a TV on over on a wall by the bar showing that something was going on, but we really didn't know what.
Later, when I found out what had happened, I was numb. I couldn't watch even a minute of it on TV, I had to instead read through tears. I want to talk to God and ask him WHY. I wanted to run to my kids school and grab them and never, ever let them go. What happened on Connecticut on Friday is what we, as parents, have nightmares over.
When I was 12, I watched my parents forever changed after my 5 1/2 year old brother died. It was quick and it was devastating. I was helpless to do a single thing. My remaining 2 brothers and my sister were each forever changed as well. I lost my immortality that day and I know it affects me every-single-day as a parent and as a person. My mind goes places in fear, knowing that what you have and what you cherish most can be gone in an instant. As a result I am one of those people that rarely watches the news or reads a paper. I want to know what is going on in the world, but I want to insulate myself from painful human tragedy or maybe I need to insulate myself from it, I am not really sure. I don't want to believe that terrible painful stuff can happen and I especially don;'t want to believe in evil. I am a person that helps out random people all the time. I have always been that way. My mother is the same way. I mean why wouldn't everyone want to help in anyway they can another person, when someone see someone else struggling over something as simple to get something off a top shelf at a store or a struggling over something more challenging, shouldn't we as a human being take action?
I am a glass-is-half-full-kind-of-gal, I like that about me. I try to instill it in others. And I think that is why when painful stories of critically sick children, the man a few weeks ago killed by the train in NY and more reach my ears, they absolutely crush me to pieces.
I haven't been able to stop thinking about those 20 beautiful children, those courageous women and all of the people they left behind for more than an hour since Friday. I sat my children down (ages 8 and 11) a couple of times since them to talk about what happened, see how they feel and ask if they have any questions. Connor, Samantha and I decided to take action on behalf of the victims and we are going to tell my husband our idea and I am sure he will jump on board with both feet as well. We decided on a way we could honor Dawn, Mary, Victoria, Anne Marie, Rachel, Lauren, Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Madeline, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Benjamin and Allison.
We are each going to do 26 acts of kindness, one for each child and each teacher. We decided that this was really the only thing we could control. Making something good come from something so very, very sad. Together we will be doing 104 good acts. If just the 4 of us can do that, imagine what many more of us could do.
As we do each act, we will choose a child or teachers name to check off, close our eyes for a moment, honor them and smile.
Maybe through something so horrific and gut-wrenching, 26, 104 or many, many more beautiful beams of sunlight will shine right through.