I was going to do a bunch of gift guides this week, but given the recent events, I'm not feeling it. Sorry - you can wait until next year to see what to give your insufferable hipster, mom with kids in preschool and daycare, gullible internet dweeb and Dad.
I have to talk instead about my feelings on violence, guns and the inconvenient things no one brings up when they are so focused on silly memes and one-liners about gun rights and society. (Gullible internet dweebs.)
I'm not interested in being another voice in the din. I don't think I am so awesome that everyone should listen to me (unless I'm giving advice, then I am.) What many of you don't know is I print this blog every year as a yearbook for my family, so talk of current events will one day put things into perspective for my kids when they wonder why mom was so sad that one Christmas. That year she wouldn't let anyone play Silent Night or O Holy Night. And why she started crying watching the kids joyfully open their presents. (You know it's going to happen, Moms.)
I'm still rocked. I'm devastated.
When I had a miscarriage many years ago, I had one regret. That I couldn't hold his or her little hand and say "I love you." I know there was nothing I could do to stop it and it was obviously necessary, but it was hard being robbed of the chance to help, to protect, to love.
A few years after that, I was alone with my aunt for awhile as she was dying. She was already in a coma and would occasionally stop breathing, rattle, gasp or choke. All I could do was hold her hand and say "You got this. Everything is fine and taken care of. You can do this. We love you so much." I wished I could go into a dream state and stand there with her in the darkness and wait with her, pass the time, make her laugh. Because we're all a little scared. And we're all in the same line.
If there is some kind of afterlife, I'm going to apply for a reaper position.
As a mother, it's not just the abject horror your child is gone. It's not just the gaping hole from where your guts have just been ripped out of your body. It's not just that this amazing little creature who was turning into their own neat little person has been snuffed out. It's all the little hands that needed holding.
I have this instinct inside of me that is SCREAMING to have been able to walk into that darkness and take those little hands and tell them everything is going to be okay. Be brave. You are so loved. I want so badly to replace the final sounds of screaming and the silence with love. With comfort and safety. I wanted to transition them into whatever is next (if anything at all) with a sense of peace. That is my job as a mother. To protect and prepare. And when I'm cut off from that, the result is anguish.
We're all in anguish.
So are we going to let the anguish lead to terror and anger or are we going to make use of this anguish and effect some change in our country?
I'll talk about that within the coming days.