The sun came up today and I can hardly believe it.
Yesterday a bunch of kindergartners went off to school. In the morning, they were all C. By the afternoon, 20 of them were lost forever, just like R.
It's just like that, a tightrope that runs right through the divide between joy and despair and you never know when you'll fall off the wrong side.
I am so angry and bewildered and heartbroken for the children and their parents and siblings and grandparents and the teachers. Why? Why? How?
It is a long road that those families face now. They will learn the true meaning of words like never and forever. For the first time, they will find themselves using words like despair, misery, agony with no trace of hyperbole.
And, friends, you who have seen your babies laid out in the funeral home and gone through the exercise of positively identifying your child ahead of cremation or burial--I know that you are feeling every bit of the sadness radiating out from Newtown today. You are all on my heart. This is so, so painful.
My daughter died and it was soul-crushing, mind-numbing, world-ending sadness. But she died from a rare set of medical complications while surrounded by dozens of people working frantically to save her. There are people who go to work everyday and try to figure out how to vanquish NEC and TTTS--maybe not as many as I'd like. Imagine if the doctors in the NICU had just thrown up their hands and said, "Oh, disease will always be out there...it's people who really kill people we just have to move on together and rise above this."
I understand the concepts of grace and humility. I know that we will all die someday and that knowledge is what ought to unite us and strengthen our love for each other. But there is a limit to what I'm willing to accept.
There are people who go to work everyday looking for a way to stop the disease that killed my daughter. Maybe not as many as I would like but it's a start. You know what no one is doing? No one is out there trying to figure out how to make NEC kill people faster or defending its right to exist no matter what the cost.
314 million Americans and 300 million guns. 2 semi-automatic handguns, 100 rounds fired, 6 dead teachers, 20 dead kindergartners. 1 shooter, 20 dead kindergartners.
Add them to the list of other victims of mass shootings in America. Hell, limit yourself to the past two years if you can't remember back further.
A couple of months ago, a police officer in a neighboring town was murdered with a sniper rifle.
It's inconceivable. Unacceptable.
Add the number of representatives of the United States swaggering around the world, bristling with weaponry acting this life that we share, like relationships between humans who love their families and their homes, are all living in a reenactment of a fucking John Wayne movie.
I have friends and family members who own semi-automatic handguns. They say that they will use them to keep their families safe. How will your handgun help when it takes a handful of minutes to slaughter your children while they're at school and you're at work or at home folding the laundry? How? Why?
We talk about rights and distrust of the government and stockpile enough weapons to kill everyone on the planet 10 times over.
We must do better.
The sun came up today. 20 children will not see it. They will never do anything ever again. And I just want to ask everyone I can find--is it worth it?
NOTE: Since I published this post, the news outlets have changed some of the information. The 20 children were first-graders. At least 7 of them were murdered with a Bushmaster rifle. And I read on Salon that it's actually 310 million non-military firearms for 314 million Americans. The bottom line, however, remains the same.