Thursday, December 20, 2012
Even as the candles extinguished we stood without leaving. We wanted to leave... but just seemed glued to our spots, hoping to complete some sort of unfinished business that we couldn't even put into words. Finally a parent suggested that we sing Silent Night. We did. The Principal suggested another moment of silence before we dispersed. Even in the hard chill of the night it was hard to leave. I think we had each come because we wanted to do more, but we just didn't know what to do. We left slowly, heartbroken...
My life is surrounded by teachers - my peers, of course, but also my husband, son and daughter, my daughter-in-law, my sister, niece and nephew. I can't even think about what it would have been like to get that call that any one of them would not be coming home. I do not doubt that each of them would have protected the children in their care at all costs... and my family would never have been the same. My first grandchild attends public school. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about her in a building with gunfire, and I can't imagine losing her to such a senseless act of insanity.
I can't change the events of the past. I don't really want to go to a school with metal detectors and bars on the windows, being afraid of every stranger that walks the hallway. On the other hand, I want to do everything I can to make sure that the children are safe. I don't know what the political debate will be or what it will bring, but I know that I must find my voice and advocate on the side of the children - always on the side of the children. I plan to make sure that my children feel safe and protected and that they know I will be there for them, no matter what. I plan to make sure parents know that I will protect their child and care about their child, in the same way that I know someone is protecting and caring for my own precious grandchild, so far away. I have always believed that the children that step through my door come by Divine appointment, so I will continue to pray for God's guidance as I walk this path with my children. I will rededicate my days to making, not only their academics stronger, but their minds stronger, so that they do not find themselves so desolate and mentally sick that they have a need to strike out - that they are strong enough to understand those that are suffering and reach out before the moment of despair. And... in every step I take from this moment, I will always remember... the 26.