For the Children

Today is a sad day indeed.

I picked up my kids from the high school at 2:30 today, as I do every day.  I watched them as they laughed and told me about their day.  Emily shared with me a piece of gum from a pack her friend had given her.  A normal day.  The sight of their precious faces and the sound of their laughter and words touched my heart in a way that normally just doesn’t happen in the midst of everyday life.

This morning my husband let me sleep and he took my children to school.  It hit me.  I could have missed the last moments that my kids were with me.

Other moms and dads had breakfast this morning with their kids.  Some may have been running late and were cross with their dawdling kindergarteners, warning them that they would be late if they didn’t hurry.  Some other moms (or dads) slept in while their spouse took the kids to school.  Some hugged and kissed their little ones and put them on a bus.  They fully expected to be meeting the bus later in the day, getting another hug and kiss and hearing their precious little voices laughing and telling about their day.

Fully expecting it.  But never receiving it.  Instead of a mundane day Hell came to earth.

Tonight, I have hugged and kissed my kids a few extra times.  I have told them I love them again and again.  I have reminded each of them how proud I am of them and how proud I am to be their mom.  I don’t think I am remiss in this most days.  I just can’t seem to help myself today.

I just can’t imagine the empty arms of the other moms tonight.  I cannot imagine the emptiness, the grief, the anger, the confusion.  How do you, as a parent, live through this?  How do you go on, knowing that your baby’s last sight was a crazy man with a gun, that their last moments were spent without you there to protect them?  How do you go on?

Oh, God, you know!  You know what it is to lose a child in a violent way.  You know the grief and the emptiness.  You are the only one who can truly understand.  I am selfishly so thankful that my child has been spared, that my child is here with me.  You were with my child today.  Yet you were there, too, with those little children.  You have not forsaken them.  You have not forsaken their mommy.

But oh how I can imagine that they must feel forsaken right now.  There are no words that can heal the pain they feel.  Help them Oh Jesus!  Help them!