Olive will never be two again.
And yet even as I write those words, I think of the children of Sandy Hook, who will never laugh again. Never celebrate another birthday.
Like people across the nation, and globe, I'm overwhelmed by this tragedy; but the grief I hold is yet a goblet compared to the oceans of Newtown.
"I can't imagine..." I hear these words a lot from people when I tell them the story of Elias's birth. Or his current list of challenges. "I can't imagine..."
Its what we say when the unthinkable happens, because we aren't suppose to picture it. We can't know how we would feel. We can't imagine.
And yet we live in a world of instant access to images of horrific violence and stories of heart-wrenching grief.
And as Mister Rodgers' Mom told him, thousands of helpers just waiting to respond.
Every shadow needs light.
It is how open hearts respond to evil acts that inspires me.
The courage of the staff at Sandy Hook--Mary Sherlach, Dawn Hochsprung, Victoria Soto, Kaitlin Roig, Maryann Jacob, Anne Marie Murphy--to name a few, represent the rope I want to hold, as we step across this great crevasse.
How do we respond? How do we move forward from here?
Truthfully, I don't care about the killer's motives. I do care about the children lost. And the families who need to wake up in the morning and put their feet on this holy ground. I care about the survivors. About the community that has to patch together meaning from broken glass and bullet shards.
I care about this country of ours that needs to put politics aside for the sake of our children.
For Charlotte. Daniel. Olivia. Josephine. Ana. Dylan. Madeleine. Catherine. Chase. Jesse. James. Grace. Emilie. Jack. Noah. Caroline. Jessica. Benjamin. Avielle. Allison.
And children everywhere who die before their time.
What would they want us to do?
Its my daughter's birthday tomorrow. She turns three. And my guess is they'd want me to celebrate. Not with sunken shoulders but with my head tipped back, my eyes awake. To see, to really see, Miss Olive in all her glory.
For our time together may not be long, but we are forever changed from our first meeting.