Tomorrow marks the 1st anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting. I first heard the news when a daycare parents arrived for pick-up and asked if I heard. She had little information at the time, but then I left to get Faith from school, and gradually got more bits and pieces. I was shocked and sad, but it wasn’t until I started watching the news…really hearing what happened…and understanding the full impact on the victims, the survivors, the families…that I really started to be affected. For two weeks I didn’t sleep well even though I’m several states away from there. I began to be afraid to take my own child to school. She was just a year younger than those poor kids who were killed. I started wondering if I should prepare her for such an emergency, and how would I do that without scaring her? It wasn’t that long ago that we’d had a mall shooting in our state, and Colorado had the movie theater shooting shortly after Sandy Hook. I feared taking her ANYWHERE. I felt helpless. No matter how hard I ever try, I will never be able to fully protect her. All I could do was be careful, talk to her and prepare her in a way that was age-appropriate, and PRAY. And trust God.
I don’t watch the news very often. With busy schedules and kids in my house most of the day, and the fact that so much of it is doom-and-gloom, I just never do. But I was pretty obsessive for a while about keeping current with the news of the Sandy Hook tragedy.
And then it seemed to drop off the face of the earth.
Whether because I wasn’t watching or because the news ceased, I wasn’t hearing anything. No updates on the victims’ families. No word on how the surviving teachers and children were doing a week, a month, several months later. And that’s ok. Because maybe that meant that the news cameras were out of their faces, and even though there wouldn’t ever be a “normal” again, maybe they were getting to a new “normal” and finding a way to move forward.
Earlier this week I saw this video posted on Facebook, and it took me a few minutes to realize it was about the family of one of the precious little girls who was taken. I watched it and I cried, but the message is so great, especially right now as the memories of that horrific event will be stirred up, right in the midst of the Christmas season. By remembering her daughter, this mother eventually found a way to find hope and happiness, and has turned her loss into something positive (as best as a parent who has lost a child can, I can only imagine). The spirit of giving that her daughter had is being carried out by her remaining family. I thought I would share it today in the hopes that it will inspire all of us into the true meaning of the season.