Monday, April 16, 2007

Our Condolences to Virginia

In the day to day happenings that are going on around here, I hadn't planned to post today. That is, until I turned on the news and saw the coverage of the shootings at Virginia Tech.

Jake was three years old when the Columbine shooting happened. I remember going to work every day in high schools and feeling restless, nervous, and frightened. Every time I entered a classroom, I looked for the exits. Cold and sweaty, I'd wake up from nightmares where I had been the librarian and tried to save the kids who lost their lives there. At night I'd hold Jake tight and look at his angelic sleeping face, now finally understanding what the parents of the children who lost their lives felt. I was now part of the world of "Mom", where every story of a child suffering rips your heart out and leaves you raw and vulnerable.

I've heard the talk about mean girls, read books on senseless teen violence, and as a parent I've dealt with bullies and the system myself. I've been a foster parent to violent and antisocial kids who have long since grown into adults. Only now, I have a child that has grown into a pre-teen and he himself will be sitting in those classrooms where I now feel that anyone, anywhere, is vulnerable. This sort of thing isn't just a USA problem like some people I know would like to believe. The problem belongs to ALL of us.

I don't wish to try to analyze what happened because in my opinion, things like this never make sense. It doesn't matter if the shooter could have had a terrible home life, was on medication, or had a mental illness. This person killed innocent people. In the end what is important is that 33 young people had their lives taken far too soon-right when they were on the cusp of what should have been the best time of their lives. It is simply far too tragic and horrible to even try to make sense of; and as a mother myself, I can't imagine the devastation of 33 moms out there that lost their children this morning. My heart truly breaks for you.

So for all my readers, especially those of you from Virginia, please accept our deepest condolences and know that we may not know you, we're far away, but we're keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

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