The Bleak Midwinter: Newtown and Chengping

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I spent today in thought, prayer, and appreciation. Appreciation that the people I work with are innocent, sparkling, fun-loving children who will never know the impact that the Newtown Sandy Hook School shooting had on me. That I spent the hour before I went to meet Kutti and her mother in tears for the families who lost children today.

20 children dead.

It’s unthinkable to me that anyone would consider turning a gun on an innocent child. It’s disgusting to me that someone would think about stabbing a child. And in this month of reflection, of celebration, it’s even more disgusting to me that someone would take lives excited about living. Children waiting with bated breath for Santa Claus. Children looking only to tomorrow, and what fun they would find next.

I am not a parent, but I am a caregiver. I feel genuine love for the children I look after. I appreciate their beautiful smiles, their zest for life. And many of them fall into the age ranges that populated Sandy Hook School, and the Chinese school that was affected by the tragic stabbing.

I know we need less stigma about mental illness. That we need stricter gun control laws. But today is not the day to discuss these things. Today is not the day to profile a shooter, to wonder what his name was and where he comes from. Today is a day of mourning.

20 children dead. 8 adults. One classroom completely unaccounted for. 22 Chinese children in pain and suffering.

I bow my head and I light a candle. I think about the joy the children brought to everyone they met. I think about why I love my job so much -– that’s the reason why.

I am so very, very sorry for the families of Newtown and Chengping tonight.

candle
Image: denharsh via Flickr

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