Monday, December 17, 2012

Where I Was That Day

When unfathomable tragedy strikes, people often say, "I'll never forget where I was
that day".
I only worked for 2 hours on Friday, racing home with the biggest smile as I
anticipated spending a rare day off with Brees.  We had a tea party on the kitchen flour,
her favorite mac n'cheese for a mid-morning snack, and a hundred kisses before noon.  I
felt happy, content, blessed.  
After I rocked Brees to sleep for her afternoon nap, I sat down to check my email.  And I
saw the news, the nightmare that was unfolding in Connecticut.  I turned on the TV to
get more information, tears streaming down my face as the images flashed across the
screen: crying parents, children being ushered through the chaos, their eyes shielded
from the trauma.  Shawn came home and we watched in disbelief, sadness, our
hearts growing heavy as the painful truth of this situation came to light: 26 dead.  20 of
them innocent children.
Isabelle came barreling off the school bus, my heart aching as I watched her run towards
me, thinking of all those parents who would never see their children again.  "Mama, did
you hear the news about those poor little children?  Someone killed them!". 
We sat at the kitchen table and she told me that her teacher had explained to their 3rd
grade class what had happened, that they had all held hands and prayed for the victims
of this horrible act, prayed for the families left behind.  She and I talked about how sad
we both felt that this had happened, how shocked we were by the news.  I held her and
we prayed again, my voice wavering as my tears fell into her hair.  
We went about our weekend as we normally would, holding onto each other just a little
bit tighter, appreciating each moment, reminding each other that each day is a blessing, life
is precious and fragile.  The families left behind in Connecticut never dreamed that
they would be going through their weekends without their loved ones.  They never
thought they would have to say goodbye to those precious angels before they were even
old enough to tie their own shoes.  I can not imagine the pain those families must be
feeling but I do hope that they are strengthened by the prayers and compassion
blanketing them right now from their fellow Americans.  I hope that their hearts are
filled with the love and light we are all sending them now.  
May we never forget those who lost their lives on this tragic day, may we continue to
pray for those left behind.  I found these testimonies about the victims from their families
to be so amazingly beautiful:
ANA MARQUEZ-GREENE, 6: "As much as she's needed here and missed by her
mother, brother and me, Ana beat us all to paradise," her father wrote. "I love you
sweetie girl."
NOAH POZNER, 6:  Noah's twin sister Arielle, assigned to a different classroom,
survived the shooting. He called her his best friend, and with their 8-year-old sister,
Sophia, they were inseparable.  "They were always playing together, they loved to do
things together," Haller said. When his mother, a nurse, would tell him she loved him,
he would answer, "Not as much as I love you, Mom."
LAUREN GABRIELLE ROUSSEAU, 30, teacher:  "Lauren wanted to be a teacher
from before she even went to kindergarten," her mother said. "We will miss her terribly
and will take comfort knowing that she had achieved that dream."
VICTORIA SOTO, 27, teacher:  "You have a teacher who cared more about her
students than herself," said Mayor John Harkins of Stratford, the town Soto hailed from
and where more than 300 people gathered for a memorial service Saturday night.
"That speaks volumes to her character, and her commitment and dedication."
EMILIE PARKER, 6:  Robbie Parker, the father of six year old Emilie Parker, said  "As
we move on from what happened here, what happened to so many people, let it not turn
into something that defines us. But something that inspires us to be better, to be
more compassionate, and more humble people. Let us please keep the sentiments of
love that we feel for our families and the compassion that we feel for others, even
complete strangers, and keep them with us at all times. Not just in times of sorrow
and tragedy, but may we do this so that we can better our community."


Deanna Fike said...

those testimonials were so moving.

gage doesn't know what happened, and unless someone mentions it at school today we won't tell him about it. he is a big worrier, and that's the last thing he needs to be thinking about.

i think it's so wonderful that belle's teacher lead them all in a prayer.

kelley said...

Hearing her teacher led the class in a prayer made my eyes fill with tears. I don't know if she goes to public school or not, but prayer in school sure is a rarity these days..

Olivia said...

I love that she led them in prayer, too. And I was really glad that she told them what happened and prepared them for what they might hear on the schoolbus or the television. Any younger than Belle's age and I would probably want her shielded, too. But she's at the age where she's so aware of what's going on and wants an explanation. The part that touched me the most was when she said, "I can kind of understand how those kids felt hearing all that noise and being so scared. That's how I felt on the night of Daddy's accident". I had to fight back tears. Her first lesson in compassion and understanding.

Olivia said...

She goes to a private school and the spiritual freedom is very important to us. To know that her teacher taught them an important lesson in compassion and love that day means everything to us.