It is hard to believe it has been a month. We have had Christmas in our homes, celebrated a New Year and resolved to be better people going forward. And with the recovery of our lives from the crazy holiday season also comes the return of our children to school.
For a month now, I have kept my front porch light on. A reminder of the day that a man broke into an elementary school and killed 6 teachers and administrators and 20 first graders. And I had many people join me. Over 1.5 million people read my Facebook status that day and joined me in the efforts to light up the skies with prayers for the victims, the families and the whole town. Sandy Hook reminded us all how precious our time with the ones we love is. It told us that this really can happen anywhere. And it tore our hearts to shreds as we watched funeral after funeral for little white coffins. Sometimes 4 and 5 a day.
For a month I have been reminded of how Sandy Hook changed my motherhood, how it even altered the course of my unamicable divorce for a week or two and how it still made my heart hurt at the very thought of it. I have looked at my light and said a little prayer for the tragedy and the people dealing with the aftermath everyday. I have hurt for the mothers who sleep with their children’s blankets or favorite toys yearning to smell their children again. To hold them. To laugh with them. And I have prayed to God that my children are safe as I sent them to school. One of them a 1st grader.
I have struggled with when to turn the light off. Should it be at 26 days, one day for each victim? Should I have done it when the story was not the lead on the news every night? Or should I wait until I can emotionally flip the switch in my heart? I’ve walked over to it several times thinking I could do it. But something always stopped me. I guess I felt like turning it off would mean that I was turning off my dedication to remembering the tragedy and reminding myself that help and prayer is still needed everyday and will be needed for a very long time to come.
Yesterday, one month after the tragedy, I was ready. I don’t know why… I just was. And so I walked over to the switch, put my finger on it, asked God above to help me remember to pray for them, and turned it off. A tear slid down my cheek.
I know it is ‘just a light’. And I know that this tragedy did not happen anywhere near me. And I know that no one I know was directly affected by it. But, like every American, it affected me more deeply than I expected. And by the reaction to the Facebook thread from people all around the world, I am not the only one.
So my light is off and with the extinguishing of the bulb I lift up the children, the staff and the parents and families to Heaven with a prayer that we all take this and learn from it. Because I know, that if we all work together as rational adults from our living rooms to our White House, we will be able to one day say that this can never happen again in our country.
God Bless You Sandy Hook.
Find more Motherhood Posts at My Recent Writings