Just a warning, complete honesty to follow. May be a bit morbid as well. Proceed with caution. :)
I can't seem to find the words to express they way I have been feeling these past few days since the horrific event of Sandy Hook Elementary. I know that every blogger out there has shared their thoughts already and I am behind, but it's not a competition and has been something I just haven't been able to talk about let alone write about (plus I've been crazy busy).
For me, I was on my way home last Friday afternoon when my husband told me what happened. I work in a preschool and we live in a bubble during the work day where we hear no news at all. Immediately I began to cry and then sob and ask "Why?" over and over. Why would this happen? Why would anyone do this? They're babies! I headed straight to my princesses' school to pick them up instead of letting them ride the bus. They've all been smothered in hugs and kisses and "I love you"s this past week and I don't care. They are my whole world.
This event has truly rocked me to my core like nothing before. I find myself thinking about everything that transpired in that tiny little Connecticut town so many times throughout the day. Whenever I am alone with my thoughts something always seems to trigger the thoughts and I think about way too many details. I think because I have a daughter in kindergarten this has shaken me up pretty heavily. It could've been her. It could've been her school. Her friends and her teacher laying there on the floor in their tiny classroom. I see their faces when I think of Sandy Hook. And I cry. I cry about these poor babies so often and I don't know, maybe I'm weird. Please tell me I'm not the only one that this has affected so much. I wonder what it was like for those children that Vicki Soto hid in cabinets and closets telling the shooter that they were in the gym. Did they cry? Did they hear her lie and get murdered protecting them? Were they scared? Were they quiet? Did they cry inside their hiding spot? Did they understand what was happening? How does a first grader handle this? They had to grow up in the matter of seconds in order to stay alive. What about the kindergarten kids? They're my princess's age. Did it happen quick? Did they understand what was going on? Did they even know what a gun was when he came in the room? Did they suffer or go quick? I know, this is morbid thinking but every little thing triggers these thoughts. This morning I was packing her lunch and I thought, those kids' lunchboxes are probably still in the classroom. Just a stupid detail, but packing a lunch is something I do because I love my daughter and I think.."that was the last time those moms got to pack their child's lunch....forever." Forever. How long is that word? I can't imagine a world without my daughter. Oh what are they going through? Tonight, I was making dinner and listening to the radio and the song Christmas Shoes came on and of course it all came rushing back again...tears just don't stop...even now as I am typing this. I hurt for those families. I hurt for those children even though I know they are with Jesus. I hurt for the students who were saved and their teacher murdered. And I ask why? Why did this happen? Why does God let these things happen? I am a Christian. I love God, even now and will never turn my back on Him, but I just don't understand. My husband and I talked about this and tried to rationalize what happened and the only conclusion we have come up with is that God gave us free will because He loves us. He gave us the ten commandments which has Thou shalt not kill but some people choose not to follow the commandments. It doesn't make me feel better. It doesn't make the families feel better either. I saw one of the fathers of the children who were killed in an interview offer forgiveness to the shooter. It amazed me and upset me because I, as a Christian, would have a difficult time saying that. It would totally have to be God giving me peace because right now, I am mad at God. Mad for the children and their families. *Gasp* Did I just say that? I don't think I am any less of a Christian because I am mad at Him. It doesn't make me any less my earthly father's daughter just because I am mad at him. (although I am not..it's just an example) I always love my dad no matter what and will try to live my life the way I have been taught by him. Just the same I will always love God and live my life accordingly...only right now, my emotion is anger. But again, God gave us free will. A friend reminded me of the days when Jesus was born. King Herod had all the children under two murdered. I never really stopped to think about this event. I mean TRULY think about it. How horrific would it have been to live in a time like that? When your government demanded your child be killed? It was mass genocide! God allowed Herod's free-will to reign and he used it for a purpose. I don't know what good will come of this. Right now I can't see the forest through the trees. I know as time passes these thoughts and emotions will subside. Or at least be pushed aside. God will have the glory and already His name has been spoken by our President on national TV..something I never thought I'd see. The father of Emilie Parker gave grace in Jesus' name to the shooter..and amazing act of love. Already he has been glorified. Why did it have to take this happening? Why do I fear speaking His name and sharing His love freely?
On the Monday morning after the shooting, when I dropped my daughters off at school, I will be honest, I was scared. My stomach was in knots and I got all choked up while trying to hide it from them So I kissed them like crazy and told them I loved them and then drove down the road to Wawa to get some breakfast. As I was paying for my food, I heard sirens and saw a police car zoom by towards the school. My heart started racing and I could feel the tears welling. Then another police car zoomed by. Oh my goodness! Then as I was heading to my car another one passed by. That was it. I was going to be late to work because I had to know that the girls were okay so I got back in my car and headed back to the school. Everything was okay although the cops (I found out later) WERE headed to a school in lock-down. Just not OUR school and it was a false alarm. So, needless to say I was a few minutes late to work. Yesterday was their holiday party at school. It was the first time I was actually in the building since Sandy Hook and I automatically was checking out the place. Were the doors locked? Where were the doors to the outside located? Especially in relation to my kids' classrooms? Where would they hide? I was almost in tears when I realized the back entrance to the school was next to my eldest daughter's classroom. They would probably be the first classroom. Then I was in the kindergarten class. Looking at how big was their bathroom? Could they hide? Sigh..why can't I shake these thoughts? I had so much respect for teachers, even before, but especially now. They are their parents during the day and care for them and kiss their boo boos and comfort them. We need to show them our appreciation.
What has our society come to? When we can't send our kids to school and believe they will be safe? Things need to change. I have never been in opposition to guns nor for them. I believe in the constitutional right to bear arms. Our forefathers put that in there so that the people would not be beholden to corrupt government. I don't think that not allowing private citizens to purchase guns is the way to go. All that will do is make purchasing guns something people do on the black market. And who buys things on the black market? The bad guys. How can the good guys defend themselves if only the bad guys have weapons? Here's what I think should be done. I think that the Principal and Vice Principal in every school should have a weapon locked up in a secure location where only they have the code, ON CAMPUS. I think they should have weapons training and crisis training as well as permits and permission from the school board. There definitely should be a process to follow in order for that to happen. The reason? Because they are the first responders. Not the police. Even if the police are 2 minutes away, that could mean a dozen deaths. If the school is armed, I believe that it will hinder the bad guys because as of now with the weapon-free zone at schools, they know there is no opposition and they will enter and be king of the castle...till police arrive. Why is it that banks can protect money with armed guards or hidden weapons and the schools with our most precious merchandise can't? Something needs to change. We live in a time when people can't even go to a movie without getting shot. I have never considered this before, but I am seriously thinking about buying a gun for my home. There are quite a few logistics we'd have to work out because we have three kids and want to make sure it'd be safe. There is a guy we know who carries a gun (with a permit of course) and it used to piss me off that he would have a gun in my home. Let's just call him Dwight Schrute..because that's who he reminds us of. But now? I think I understand. I told my husband..if there was someone like him in that movie theater in Aurora, the bad guy would have gotten one round off and then our friend would have "Dwight Schruted his a**". But no one carries guns for protection these days...only the bad guys. Back in the old west, when times were violent..that's what people did. Are we back to those times? I know it's different. We have law and order for the most part here. But still.
And one last thing, the media needs to stop glorifying these crazy people! Stop it already with plastering his face on the news and saying his name! He should only be referred to as "the shooter". I don't even know the guy's name because I don't want to. I don't want to remember him. I want to remember Vicki Soto, and Emilie Parker and the victims. Their faces should be on the news. Their stories should be the headlines. So my message to the media? Just stop. Stop giving other crazies motive to be copycats.
Okay, so now I am off my soap box. I don't even know if anyone will read this and it's a bit morbid and dramatic but this event was morbid and dramatic. I can't believe how much it has affected me and it feels good to write about it. I was fortunate enough to chat with (and cry with) a good friend last night about all these thoughts and I think it really helped. Where do we go from here? Well, all we can do is pray. Pray for the families, pray for the kids, and pray for your family. I have to trust God that all we be okay and arrive home safely every day. Don't take life for granted and thank Him for each day that you and your family rest your heads in the same home. Every day is a gift. Cherish it.
With Christmas only a couple days away I must not forget the reason for this holiday. God gave us His most precious gift, His Son who died on a cross to save us. So while I can try and empathize with what those families are going through, God ACTUALLY KNOWS because He gave His Son willingly. What an amazing gift!
Thank you, Lord for your mercy and grace and for loving me in my imperfectness. Though I do not understand many things, YOU do and Your love endures forever. I love you I will trust in You. (even if it IS begrudgingly at the moment:) ) Please give your peace that passes all understanding to those affected by this awful crime and show your love and mercy to them in their times of need. Amen.
The following is a video with Mike Huckabee explaining Where was God? Very insightful.
P.S. I try to stay away from politics on The Redheaded Princess. You may disagree with my position but that is fine. It's a free country right now and we all can have have our own opinion. I am not here to argue because any arguing will only be more upsetting and it will NOT change my mind so please don't bother. I doubt my arguments will change your mind either. Thanks for listening!