Today, I edited and uploaded a last-minute order for a client. Then I went and had a massage with a friend. And then we went to lunch, where we complained briefly about how they screwed up our order in so many ways, but in the end, made it very right. From there, I ran home, picked up my kids, grabbed what I needed and and hosted a really fun little party in my tiny office building. It should have been a wonderful day.
Someone went into a school and killed so many children. And adults, too, but it's the children we'll remember. Children who were the ages of our babies, or the ages we remember. And it's in a town not very far from where my friend lives, my friend with a baby the age of the children who died, so it could have been her baby. Or a town like mine. Or a school like ours. And I can't think about that. I just can't.
Because the thought that someone could come into such a safe place and destroy their lives, destroy OUR lives, is just... inconceivable. It's real. It happened. But I just can't think about it. Because if I think about it too much, I will go crawl into bed with my children and never let them go. I won't let them leave the house, or leave the yard, or leave the neighborhood. I will let the fear of loss of the most precious things in my life stop me from letting them HAVE a life. Even now, just writing this, I want to go curl up with them and hold them tight. I don't want to ever let them go.
And I'm scared. Because we react. We all will want to hold our children close and protect them. We know that yes, it could happen to us, because it happened to THEM, and they are just like us, they ARE us. What makes us so special that it won't happen to us, too?
It could. It really could. And the thought of that possibility, to really think of it, with MY children... it makes my bones chill and my skin blanch and I want to dive for cover and stay there. Forever.
And as much as that scares me, what lurks in the back of my mind is, "how will we react?" Will we let our fear drive us? Or will we say, "This is rare. This shouldn't happen, and it did, but will we let this fear determine our lives? Or will we live - and encourage our children to live - through the fear, through the danger. Will we tell them that yes, this was horrible, it was oh so horrible, but that you can't let this determine your choices? That you have to take risks, you have to let people in, you have to live as if you will survive your adventures, because if you don't, you won't have adventures. You won't have risks that you survive. You will have a safe corner of a room that nobody comes into. You can't be afraid. You can't spend your days worrying that something bad might happen, just because it could. Because every day that you do is a day that you've lost. It's a day of your life that you've given to the monster known as Fear. Fear can rule your life. Fear can ruin your life. Not as much as the person with the gun ruined lives this morning, I'm not diminishing that at all. But that person, that PERSON, used fear, fed on fear, manipulated fear, to ruin lives.
I feel sick when I think about what those families are going through. I feel it for a moment, and then I have to stop feeling it, because it is just so much. It is too much. I can't think about it. I can't feel it. I can't let that thought, that feeling, take over my mind and heart. I can't give that killer any more power over us.
I don't know how to end this. I started this with the plan to write about how I went through an ordinary day and something tragic happened in the middle. And I did. I worked. I had a massage. And I hosted a party. And a horrible, unbelievably horrible, tragedy happened.
And it's almost too much to bear.