Friday, April 20, 2007

So much to say, so difficult to say it

All week I’ve sat staring at a blank Word document, its flashing cursor mocking my inability to put into words all that it’s in my head.

The tragedy that enveloped the news this week is too horrific, too unimaginable, too heartbreaking to give much thought to. So I’ve sat day after day trying to figure out what I can possibly say that adds any value, anything new, anything comprehensible to such an incomprehensible situation.

And all the while there’ve been other events I could have written about: the hellacious trip to Stride Rite with Peanut to buy new shoes. The lugnut Toys ‘R Us employee who walked away laughing at me when I told him I could lift a 50-pound bag of sand into my car on my own (I can and I did, you big jerk). The funny way Loaf points to the door and commands, “Go Mama!” whenever she wants to do something on her own (as well as when she’s about to do something naughty and she catches on that I’m watching her. Little imp).

But all of it seems so trivial this week in light of so much tragedy and grief. So much potential was wiped off the earth in a matter of minutes, I can’t even begin to really think about it without a tightening in my chest and tears welling up in my eyes.

A tragedy like this is difficult to think about when you don’t have children. When you do, it takes on a whole new element. Something so raw and disturbing, it’s like your whole body turned inside out and all the nerves are on the outside causing every emotion, every sensation to be doubled, even tripled with a force that sometimes leaves you crippled with doubt and fear.

Events like those at VA Tech on Monday bring out that visceral instinct to hold your babies (no matter their age) close, bear your teeth and protect them. But how? How can you ever protect them from someone as blatantly disturbed, which is about the nicest thing I can say about him, as the shooter in this case. (I refuse to even type his name and thus contribute to his twisted immortality).

Like millions of parents across this country, each day I drop my child off at school, give her a peck on the lips and say goodbye, fully expecting to see her again in a couple of hours. Any other thought—even a fleeting—of anything else is unfathomable, too utterly horrific to imagine.

So the thoughts get pushed down—way, way down—into the dark recesses of my soul until something like the VA Tech shootings force them to violently fly back up the top.

I had to turn away from the news this week, because it was starting to keep me up at night, forcing me out of bed to walk down the hall and check each of my precious sleeping girls to make sure they were still there, still safe. Of course they were there in their beds, breathing deeply, completely at peace, which is exactly how it should be.

I know I won’t always be there to protect them and I can only pray that they’ll never cross paths with the likes of Monday’s killer. In the meantime, I’ll just keep pushing down all the bad thoughts and focusing on everything that’s wonderful about life right now, which I’m guessing is what’s going to help all those parents and friends of this week’s victims move forward from this as well.

My thoughts are with all of the victims and survivor’s of Monday’s tragedy. I wish you all peace.

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