new normal

It’s been ages since I’ve posted here or on any of my other blogs. Due to my current job, I have avoided any and all online social life outside of a protected group of Facebook friends. But recent events in the country have me desperate to express myself. I have no other place to grieve.

For historical reference – because I often look back, years later, on my posts – a few short days ago – Friday, December 14th, I came in late to work so I could help my daughter set up a booth at her school’s craft fair, and so I could also attend the morning assembly at my son’s school. He was getting an award (it was a surprise to him – both the award and that we would be there to see him get it) for doing well in class, being a leader. While both of these things were taking place at my kids schools – 3,000 miles away, an elementary school was being attacked in a random assault by a mad man that left 20 kids, the same age as my son, dead, as well as 6 adults and the gunman. I got the news as I was racing to my desk. My phone buzzed – CNN is set up to give me notifications – a shooting at a school – an elementary school – Please, God, no. In that instant – it felt like the world went forever off it’s track. The future forever changed from how it was “supposed” to be.

Since that moment, I have not been able to get it out of my mind. I know other people deal with these tragedies differently. Sam, no less devastated by it, deals by complete avoidance. So when I feel an uncontrollable urge to bring up the subject – it’s almost always a change in the subject. And then it’s quickly changed back to something else. We are not making a big deal of it in front of the kids – my daughter understands the details more than my son. I’m trying to make sure she’s not afraid to go to school – life still needs to be lived. My son is too little to understand any of it. There’s no point in giving him details. I only told him that he might hear about something that happened at a school, and a lot of people got hurt – and the most important thing he needs to remember is that he should always listen and do what his teachers tell him to. I feel like that act probably saved a lot of kids.

That is what’s happening on the outside. Keeping up appearances. Going on with life. Going to work. Making dinner. Putting kids to bed.

Inside is a different story.

Inside, I feel forever broken. Particularly because of the ages of those kids. I will never know them – but their pictures are burned into my brain. My son will bear a burden, possibly for the rest of his life, that he may never be aware of. I will forever look at him and watch him grow, and think about those kids that will never get the chance to reach the age he does, or the accomplishments he will. I will look at him and he will hold the marker in my mind for where those kids are supposed to be, what they’re supposed to be doing. I will watch him live a life they never got the chance to. And I will be proud of him, cheer for him, and I will grieve too.

In one second, I am trying not to watch the news – I’m trying to skim past facebook posts that dwell on this. I just can’t handle it. And on the other hand – I’m seeking out the news – I want answers. Why did this happen? How did he end up at that school? Please, tell me there is something that can be done to make it so this doesn’t happen again, or at the very least – it would be really really difficult. Make more hurdles. Make it harder. It shouldn’t have been this easy for someone to do this.

I drop off my son at school, and there is still a small voice of panic at the bottom of my stomach. =please keep him safe= I don’t want him to be afraid, I want him to feel safe, but I don’t feel like he really is safe.

It’s ironic that in the President’s speech he gave at the memorial service in Newtown – he described having a kid is like having your heart taken from you, and letting it roam free. Your heart’s accomplishments are like your own. It’s mistakes, it’s pain; your own. I used those exact words when trying to describe it to a friend of mine that day.

I know so many people that are just overwhelmed with emotions. I think most people are trying to move on and take action. I am too. I’m signing petitions. I’m getting information. I’m waiting for the news to give (reliable!) details about how and why this happened. I’m planning on putting pressure on law makers to not be bullied anymore into allowing this to be just part of our culture. But I came here because I also need a place to grieve – because my heart is broken, 3000 miles away. And I don’t think I’ll ever be the same.

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