I’m sorry to say that this isn’t going to be a happy post, but after the tragedy of Friday I have to use my little place in the Internet to share my feelings of a town that I use to drive through.
Jonathan actually grew up not too far from Newtown, CT. For a while his family lived in Connecticut and some of the stories he told me about living there are amazing fond memories, that I’m slightly jealous that I never got a chance to experience as a child. One of those memories was Friday after school he and his friends would go to Newtown, to the comic book store and spend hours reading comics, buying little miniatures and sometimes see a $1 movie at the theater. My connection to Newtown is much more limited, I drove through the town on I-84 when heading up to college. Danbury was the last major city that I drove through before Hartford and I use to think that anything from Exit 10 and on was boring space, needless to say 10 was the Newtown exit. I had family who lived in Danbury for years and I use to drive up and babysit kids in Bethel, CT the town right next to Newtown. I even saw one of the kids on CNN this weekend with his dad, delivering flowers to the school. In a sense, the tragedy hit a little closer then most.
For a while now, Jonathan and I would talk about moving back to Connecticut and buying a fixer upper house in a small town. In a weird way, we always envisioned something similar to Newtown; something close enough to a city for me, but a backyard big enough for him with a small town feel. Still you don’t imagine a tragedy like this happening in a place where you hope to raise your babies. And then to hear that someone lost their babies in what’s suppose to be a safe place, you start to wonder is anything sacred anymore?
I heard on the news that on Friday the Governor made the announcement at the Firehouse, “if you haven’t been reunited with your child by now, it’s already over”. It’s a harsh way to tell parents that their babies are gone, but then, what really is the right way to tell them, I’m sorry your child is dead. I keep thinking to when that statement was said and the sound of wailing that those parents made when they realized that their baby wasn’t going to coming running up to them. It breaks my heart, I’m not a mother, but I cried every time I stopped and thought about it. You hear the stories of scared little ones, crying that they just want to celebrate Christmas & Hanukkah and I think how scared they must’ve been when they saw a man walking around with a gun. You wonder to yourself, who can be so cruel?
Now, the talks will move to gun control, how can we let this happen in our country and what the government needs to do. This isn’t going to die down at all, and I pray that it doesn’t. We should also discuss the mental issues that people face, because we all know that killing people is not right and we need to make sure that people are getting help they need. (Read this post from The Anarchist Soccer Mom, it’s very powerful). Last night was the memorial service at Newtown, living on the West Coast it showed up earlier on our TV around the time people are watching their favorite sports team. I saw a former “friend” on Facebook rant about how this wasn’t a National Emergency and that NBC should put the game back on; the sickening thing, he’s a father with kids the same age as those who were killed Friday. I was truly disgusted when I saw that and I immediately unfriended him because I don’t ever want to associate with a person with that attitude. I don’t ever want to stop talking about Newtown, I don’t ever want to stop talking about Virginia Tech, I was in High School when Columbine happened and yet we let it silently slip into the background until another school shooting happened.
I wish I had the answers to the next steps and I know many people believe that they do, but right now I’m praying for those families who are burying their children, today. I’m sending money to Newtown Children & Family Services, and the Sandy Hook School Support Fund so they can get the very best counselors for those kids and that community. And I’m going to practice more love and patience, because at a time like this, we need it now more than ever.