Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In the news

Yesterday a dear friend of mine was volunteering at Eliza's school. She texted me that Eliza wasn't feeling well. Knowing that a stomach virus has been plaguing the area for a few weeks now, I went ahead and told the office that they had my permission to send Eliza home with my friend who would kindly drop her off at my house. Lottie was napping and my friend was on her way home anyway.

Yes, I was concerned that Eliza's stomach was upset. Before they pulled in the driveway, I had her pillow, a barf bowl, the hand sanitizer and other comfort items ready for my patient. I shamelessly confess, however, that I was deeply relieved that her school day was over. That pit in my stomach that I felt when I dropped her off that morning would momentarily be reprieved until the following day when I'd hug and kiss her 'goodbye' again.

Friday's tragedy left me reeling. In no way can I compare the impact its had on me to the unimaginable level of grief and horror of those who are actually living through that dark hell. With that clarification being made, I feel terrible sadness for the families of the victims. As the events unfolded, I couldn't pull away from the updates. I soothed my worry by telling myself that those children weren't targeted. There was a mistake clearly. Elementary schools and the teachers who selflessly love and serve our babies are exempt (the same way movie theaters, grocery store corners and shopping malls ought to be)... please God.

Having distracted Lottie, I made my way into the front room so I could pray. I completely broke down. I wanted to go get Eliza from school that minute. I didn't. I'm still not sure why. I suppose I needed the time to get it together or perhaps prove to myself that I believed her to be safe. Lottie soon found me in the front room. Concerned why her Mother was upset, I quickly told her that I was all better and offered up a big smile. She still insisted that I needed to get myself a bandaid. :)

My soul felt sick. I soon learned via Facebook of the Parker/Cottle family connection to Utah. That connection was tightened one step further when my brother in law, Mark, shared his grief that his cousin, Robbie Parker, had lost his daughter Emilie in the shooting.

As Andrew and I talked about it, he asked if we were going to tell Eliza what happened. My immediate answer was, "No." I wondered if that was really in her best interest or if it was my selfish desire to keep her protected from the mental horror and fear awhile longer. I want her to feel safe at school. They practice lock downs already. I think it was the right thing. Reading this article on KSL, reaffirmed my initial instinct that I didn't need to tell her. Other parents of young children may feel differently and that's totally fine. I also know that there's a chance she'll hear about it through the grapevine but I guess that's just a risk we decided to take.

Days later, that lump in your throat that is triggered by sadness, easily rises. Tears continue to fall freely. Fear accompanies me on the way to taking my kids to school and I wish that it wouldn't. I wish society had a perfect solution to cure mental illness. I wish that Parenthood didn't leave you so incredibly vulnerable. Hearing a separate piece of bad news this morning, I felt flattened. It isn't even my piece of bad news! A stanza from the song, 'I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" began playing through my head.

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

I hurried to look up the entire song because I realized I was focusing on the wrong verse. In the final verse, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had to choose faith over his grief ... and believe me; he had every reason in the world not to choose faith I discovered after reading the story behind the song  here

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

I pray that these families are privy to a level of Heavenly comfort that we as a public can not see or fathom. That comfort is is something that I hope extends to those who have their own personal heartaches that aren't related to this event as well. It's a hope that I have for my future self when we're confronted with despair. I hope that comfort can lead to peace until that time with the Savior comes again and all of the wrongs in the world fail completely and healing and happiness is perfectly restored to the brokenhearted through His grace. 

1 comment:

Betty said...

Thank you for sharing your feelings, Ali. They were very thoughtful and insightful. Love you