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Multigenerational Mom Muses on Twin Toddlers & Twenty-Something Daughters

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school shootings

Two Separate Sides

I haven’t written about the tragedy of Uvalde until now. My heart was too broken, too numb. 

Our whole country is that way right now: broken and numb, standing in the rubble of two separate sides: those who haven’t yet been touched by gun violence and those of us who have. 

Me, I sit on a screened porch surrounded by the symphony of bird song, while four states away, an entire town howls in anger and grief, their elementary school still roped in crime scene tape.

Two separate sides. 

One week ago, 19 children were still alive,  dressing for church or playing with siblings or sleeping-in beneath security blankets with soft pillows for their heads. And now… now their heads rest on morgue trays, their parents sleepless. Medicated. Mourning. Desperate with grief. 

Their siblings and friends are hollow and haunted. 

Their teachers are dead. Families, broken. A husband’s heart cracked open so wide, it spilled him over to the other side. Broken beyond repair. 

Me… my children have just climbed from bed, eager for Sunday pancakes. We celebrated a dance recital last night; graduation ceremonies last week, Memorial Day festivities tomorrow.

Two separate sides. 

Me, too numb to write, taking time to sort through my thoughts and breathe. While the children of Uvalde had no time to think. No more time to breathe.

Two separate sides.

 Our country is cracked wide open and on two separate sides. 

The side horrified and outraged about innocent lives lost, and the side horrified and outraged about potential rights lost.

Our country is broken – cracked down the middle.

The horror! the outrage! — when the deaths of 19 fourth graders and 2 dedicated teachers can trigger a rally cry to save guns instead of children.

Oh, how broken and numb, we truly are.

Thoughts and Prayers — Same Song, Millionth Verse

Help me, Lord, to find what I am supposed to write today… A day after yet another school tragedy. More headlines. More pics of moms in mourning.  Of dads in agony. More stories of teachers and students feeling abject horror. More stories of students who made it talking about students who didn’t. More stories.

But not stories. All true. I wish they weren’t. I wish they were made up. I wish I were merely watching a Shakespearean tragedy. But alas, I’m not.

And how do I find the words to make sense of these real-world tragedies? To find words? To unearth them? To polish them and use them? To help myself through these dark times, these hellish realities?  To help me make some sort of sense of it all? To make sense of a world that steals sons? And daughters? And hearts? And grinds them into mincemeat to serve up on little slices of computer screens and news headlines…

And now snaps. On Snapchat. Snap-shots of horror and fear. Screaming and gunshots. Panic and pain. All of these things are too horrible to fathom. To absorb. To digest. I am… overwhelmed. And inept. Is there anything that can be done? Anything?

Quesions. More questions. And no answers. Only words. And words are not answers. Words don’t do much. Words are those old standbys. They are hashtags. #ThoughtsandPrayers. Affections, not action. I can polish them up all I want, they ultimately do nothing.

It is Action we need, not Words. Not Thoughts. We have active shooters in our schools killing kids. Many, many kids. And educators. And the wrong sorts of people are the only ones acting.

No, I take that back. The rest of us are acting, too.

We are all playing a role. We have taken on the role of Hamlet — the great procrastinator. The tragic hero who unpacks his heart with words. Who delays and delays and delays until it is way too late. Until there is so much death and destruction that the entire kingdom has tumbled into the hands of the enemy.

Apparently, that is the role we are all willing to play –the politicians and public alike.

And there are so many ghosts telling us to do something. So many. In hallways and classrooms and media centers and cafeterias and restrooms. Begging us to avenge their murders most foul with action.

But still, we wait… while noble hearts crack. And cease. While tragedy becomes commonplace.

So, no. I don’t need to find the words to make sense of this anymore. None of us do. Instead, we need to DO SOMETHING. We need to stop the bleeding.  And stop the madness. And stop the death…

To do or not to do.  That is the question.

And I don’t want to hear that now is not the time…  that the wounds are too fresh.

But in this, at least, Shakespeare’s words are right… It needs to happen now “while men’s minds are wild, lest more mischance on plots and errors should happen.

Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this becomes the [battle]field, but here shows much amiss.”

Let’s find a way to be the change.

#dosomethingaboutallthetragedyalready

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