Darkness spread over our land yesterday. At a time of year when light and miracles are celebrated, when we spread an extra healthy dose of gratitude on all that is and was, I can only find myself looking up at the sky with tear stained cheeks whispering apologies.
Eric came home yesterday and lit candles. Significant because this is not something he does. A quiet fog hovered as we went through the motions of any normal weekday night, the little ones completely unaware of such tragedy. After dinner, Eric went to work with Theo and Sully setting up his train collection, for this is the Christmas he's been waiting for, the year of the little ones being not so little anymore.
I awoke in the middle of the night. As I stared at the blank, dark ceiling I thought of the Mamas. I thought about how they were probably awake with grief. I thought about the one dead deer I saw on my road trip earlier this week. She was in a twisted position, her eyes wide open, gone. I think that's what it must feel like - look like- to lose a child.
This morning I woke up to pitter-patter. The sun not yet fully awake and the little ones bounding downstairs, back to the train. So much excitement, so much to look forward to. That is the job of a child.
I prayed again for the families, the children, the responders who had to rise to the calling even though I have to believe not without sobs. I asked God to never take my family, at least not before me.
Now, the little ones have built an even bigger track - it has consumed our living room floor, weaves around my reading chair and through the curtains. I am sipping my morning cup, watching the flock of geese outside our dining room windows. Mostly I feel hard, but here and there I feel something much more familiar to me - soft, hope.
Our country is grieving. Each child who has been slaughtered belongs to each of us and each slain adult is a member of our family. It is impossible to explain the horror to ourselves and to our survivors. We need to hold each other's hands and look into each other's eyes and say, "I am sorry."