My heart is still so heavy today and I feel lost in thought throughout the day for the families and whole town suffering from the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Of course I am saddened whenever I hear news of tragic death or a shooting. But this one was too close. Sandy Hook is just 45 minutes away. I have a dear friend who's daughter escaped the shooting. And Scott knew and worked with the principal on several occasions. Like all parents across America we are hurting and holding our children tighter. We are soaking in the little things they do even more than normal. We are grateful for each day with our daughters.
Last Friday morning I was ironing when the local Connecticut news cut in to say that there was a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school and that it was believed that 4 children were injured. I ran to my phone to call Kim.
Kim and I were in many Education classes together in our last year of college. We were both becoming teachers. She was sweet and being a bit older than me took me under her wing when I need a friend, a ride, support, anything. We had so much in common (mostly our love for holidays and family) and loved being together.
After college and teaching began Kim and I stayed close. We often "met half way" for dinner or breakfast. She began a family and I was in awe at her love for motherhood. Her beautiful son and daughter did not come easily to her. After years of struggling to have a family she and her husband adopted. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that God used Kim's love of adoption to plant a seed in my heart. I remember how grateful she was for the gift of adoption; how much it was a blessing and not "second best."
Years later when Scott and I started our adoption journey to China I couldn't wait to tell Kim. I had written a letter to Anna (before we even met her) in her first photo album, and I drove to Sandy Hook, to Kim's house to read it to her. I remember her tears pouring down and her holding her little boy. Now we had even more in common.
Kim and I texted this Thanksgiving, as we always do on holidays. She was happy and we were making plans to "meet half way" again. And then the unthinkable happened.
On Friday I kept trying to call Kim, and when I finally got through her daughter Tatum answered. I was more relieved than you can imagine. Tatum is a third grader at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Kim was on the phone with me for just a few seconds and she was sobbing.
As the day unfolded and we began to learn the magnitude of the shooting I was in shock. I was deeply saddened to hear that that many children were killed. I was saddened and frightened that the principal ran out of her office and was killed. And on and on the day went.
Yesterday when I dropped off my girls at school I gave them a kiss, told them I loved them and sent them in. When I turned around I cried for the first time. They walked into their school to learn, to laugh, to grow. School is a happy place. School is supposed to be a safe place. For so many of those children who survived the shooting school will never feel safe again. I pray for Tatum and the other children who survived like breathing these days.
I thank God every day all day long for saving Tatum's life. And I pray all day long for all of the children who survived and for the families living with unbearable grief at the loss of their child. May God bless the children and families of Sandy Hook. May we all learn to hold our children closer and appreciate the gift of life.
Tonight Scott will participate in a Memorial Mass for the tragedy. He will light a candle when the principals' name is going to be read. And today I sent my girls to school again so grateful for the kind, loving and wonderful teachers they have. Sandy Hook will grow closer than ever. They will mourn, they will one day begin a new normal; but they won't, none of us will, ever forget.