I think that, for people who write, there will be so many attempts to sit down at computers, put pens to journals, and try to make some sense of what has happened. People will try, but I expect that there will be many unconnected thoughts, many words with jagged edges that don't fit together.
The horrible happenings of the past few days are much like that. Even in a world that can be filled with danger and temptation and terror and fear, what happened in Connecticut doesn't fit into the puzzle that makes up what most of us know. Something that huge is a piece that we can't even fathom.
Today is Monday, and like so many millions of mamas, for the first time since Friday, I kissed PJ goodbye and watched as he hopped on his little bus. PJ, of course, has absolutely no clue of the madness that has gripped our nation the past few days. He greeted his bus driver and scooted into his little seat. The world can be full of madness, but I want PJ to...not even be brave, but to simply be able to enjoy the daily, moment-to-moment joy and fun that I hope that getting his education will provide, as it did for me.
I don't know what to say about what we all do next. I want our schools to be safe. I want there to be a balance between our rights as Americans and our right to be safe and not threatened. I don't want people with Autism - or any other mental difference- to be feared, misunderstood, or persecuted. I want God to hold those families in Connecticut and their babies and loved ones in Heaven, to hold them close, and I want everyone else to "hold space" on our hearts here on Earth. There's just so many things to be fixed and pondered and prayed for that it seems hard to know from what direction to come from to even begin to tackle it all.
I'm a mother. PJ is a son and a student. Pete is a father and first-responder. This didn't happen here, but it could have. And I don't know, in the context of any of those positions we hold, that there's anything more we can do to keep something like this from happening here. We can make stricter rules in our schools concerning who and what comes in and out, perhaps make sure that our teachers are trained to discern and reach out to children who might need some help. We can face the fact that, perhaps, law written hundreds of years ago might be incongruous with the world we live in today. We can do all of those things and yet very rarely, it's all out of our hands.
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.”
I saw this quote on the Momastery blog and felt like it spoke to what has happened. Something like this...I think it leaves something broken inside of all of us. I don't think that as an individual, there's anything I can do to keep something like that from happening to PJ or to any of my nieces and nephews. I can help PJ prevent cavities and feed him healthy foods and make sure he gets therapy to give him the tools to cope with Autism. I can give him more clothes then Oprah and take him to his beloved playground and sit on the floor with him, pushing Thomas the Train over endless miles of wooden tracks. I can love him, love my nieces, love my nephews, love the children of my friends. I'm good at loving. And I'll fill the broken parts with more love because...well, it's better then the alternative.
Love your babies. Love your family. Love, love, love times 26 and you'll do justice to the lives of those we lost in Connecticut in the most important way.