A year ago, give or take a couple days, I miscarried. I was only a few months along, hadn't even heard a heartbeat but it was one of the most devastating occurrences in my life to date. I had lost my child. 18 years ago I made the decision to terminate a pregnancy and still have thoughts of "what if" about a baby whose heart I never heard beat either. The only thing I can think of that hurts my heart more than the losses of two babies I never knew is thinking of how the mommies of the children that were inexplicably and purposelessly murdered on Friday must feel.
I have found myself crying a lot about those babies, most who were around the same age as my beloved nephew. I wept with the president when he spoke. I wept when two football players from opposing teams in their number 26 jerseys took the field for a moment of silence. I cried all day on Friday as I scrolled through news update after news update searching for some kind of explanation of who could do such a thing as if knowing that would offer any consolation. When I watch a movie, I become a part of that movie, completely emotionally invested and so when I read those news stories, I became a mother of one of those children. I imagined the devastating loss of having never had the chance to say one last goodbye to Casey.
I do not believe that gun control is the answer. I know too many people who own guns and enjoy them that would not dream of using them in a violent way. We can restrict and pass laws until we are blue in the face but criminals and mentally disturbed individuals with a plan will find a way to achieve the chaos they are desperate to spread. There are people who have no moral compass who are desensitized to violence. Mental health should definitely be a topic of conversation and the taboo of mental illness needs to be erased. I mean, I had to be on Prozac for depression and that was SHAMEFUL for me. Why? If I had cancer, something else that I have no control over, would I feel ashamed to receive chemotherapy?
I keep a journal for Casey and on Friday I wrote the following:
"There was a horrible shooting at a school in Connecticut this morning and many small children were killed. I hope we do a good job teaching you about safety and the dangers of guns and the value of a human life. I pray you are safe when you are away from me. I can only dream that maybe one day this sort of senseless violence will just stop already so we can truly know peace on earth. I love you, Casey. I simply don't know who I was before you or who I'd be with out you."
That is as close to an answer or a plan as I can come. To retain hope. To spread love. To actively work toward a better world and to do that by using our children as instruments to make the world a better place. To hug my son closely and cherish every moment as if it may be our last because frankly we just never know. God willing, the loss of those children's lives was not in vain. Maybe this was a catalyst for a desperately needed change.