Today is a day for family. I’m not sure what else I can say.
News of the elementary school shooting in Connecticut yesterday was hard to hear. Harder to feel. I have cried over and over again, despite having no connection at all to anyone there. But oh, the sudden, violent loss of a child is a weight I can’t imagine. The atrocity of that grief must strip you to the bone. I think of those parents, waiting overnight in a fire station, unable to collect their babies from the deserted school till the morning, and I feel half-flayed myself. Something like this makes us all remember our humanity. We are parents, and we mourn for other people’s children, and love those they leave behind. Regardless of when, or where.
I hope, I hope that the first result of yesterday is to lengthen the process for buying a gun in the States. Own guns, by all means; keep them safely; use them for recreation. But circle that weapon with enough paperwork that it puts off impulse buyers and the mentally ill, who in any case deserve better help than a firearm. As long as buying a gun is as easy as buying a doughnut, this will keep happening. And isn’t it enough, now? Much more than enough?
So we spent today together at the temple, and then went to IKEA for lunch and to buy Henry’s Christmas present. I latched on to every last thing I love about that boy and held it to me like I was seeing it for the first time. He tried to pull off IKEA Santa’s beard in return for his Christmas bear, and held top-of-voice conversations with anyone who’d look at him twice. I watched him from a distance, swinging his legs in the trolley, and then nose-to-nose, cuddly in his oversized cardigan. And was grateful. And hoped that things would get better.
I think it will. We have a great capacity for goodness and community and connection, all of us. We can love more, reach out more, pray more. We can come together and make things better. It’ll come through.