Friday 12-14-12 started as any other day
Dressing for school, hurried breakfasts, hugs, little ones at play
Dedicated, loving teachers there in the morning
As dedicated, loving parents hand-off their living treasures
Little beating hearts and chubby hands
Giggles and greetings, crayons and colored clay
Chaos and unspeakable violence breached the walls
Of an institution felt safe and warm
By one confused, angry and hurt
An invisible young man now a house-hold name
To the horror of a nation
Yes, even to the shock of the world
And the deep searing grief of the families
Precious lives now cruelly cut short
The aftermath of confusion and pain
The lack of understanding
What are we to do?
Who does this? Who?
No answers, only pain
For the children, for their teachers made heroes in one final act
For the mother who died alone in her home
For the father and brother left behind
Trying to make sense of the senseless
Too many guns they say
Too little help for the lost they say
Be kind they say
As if being kind afterward matters so much
When being kind before…noticing…caring….
Might have stopped this?
We weep as a nation, we rage
We want to help
What to do?
What can we possibly do?
I think of these families preparing to bury their dreams
During a time that should have been joyous
A time of giving…
Grief and sadness, pain and loss
Among the wreathes and trees, ribbons and gifts
Looking to the Heavens for 27 bright new stars
God…please give me the wisdom to give a gift
To remember them
Teach me to care
Show me how to be compassionate
Give me the bravery to intervene when things aren’t right
Give me the fortitude to stand up against wrong
Open my eyes to see those who are lost and feel invisible
Remind me to hold close those I love
For You may call them home before I’m ready to let go
Teach us all that we are connected
We are family
We are ONE community
Maybe then, just maybe
We will really see the 27 lost that day
This is our chance
From pain hope may spring
Let it come.
If you have peace and abundance
Won’t you please share it with just one who does not?
My family and I cannot think of one single way
To honor those lost at Sandyhook more
Than to shine a light into the horrible darkness
Even if we’re afraid.
God help us all.
~~Maria Appleby, Champaign, Illinois, USA, 12-16-12