Saturday, December 14, 2013

Remembering Sandy Hook

To touch your face.
To hear your voice
I listen for sounds on the stair that only you made.
I lie in bed and run through the night you died over and over;
I sent you a text, I woke at 11 and noticed you still weren't home. . . in those moments you were
alive. Those moments threaten to haunt me. 

I struggle to know the answers. I struggle to find purpose. . .how do you live life without your son? What do you do with the memories? Where do you go when the hurt threatens to engulf?

Today is the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings. Don't we all remember exactly where we were when the awful news unraveled? I can still feel the pit in my stomach as we watched in horror the events of that day. I contacted someone I didn't know who graduated from my Alma Mater, whose child had been taken from him; just because I needed to do something. We all felt that way. Shock, horror and disgust raged as more information was learned.
 How can there be such evil in this place?

And instead of evil personified, the light shone forth. 

John 1:5
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Families refused to let the events of December 14 cripple or destroy the light that always penetrates the darkness. I remember the valiant courage of families as they sought to celebrate the lives of their children rather than the evil that tore their lives from them. 
And I remember thinking it is so wrong for mama's to bury their babies. 

My mom had been placed in the deep of the earth less than a week before the shootings and the waves of grief were so intense. The world continued to spin and time marched on. 

And it continued to march until July 28th when our world shattered and our son was torn from this life. And at the time, a piece of all of us died along with Elijah. 

We are different. Everything I look at or touch is seen through a new lens. 

I go Christmas shopping with a friend.  I have one less child to shop for.  Yet instead of searing pain, there is a peace. A deep down peace that is slowly moving. Years past it takes me weeks of shopping to take care of my list. This year. It is one day. 
That is all I have. 
Next week is full of radiation and chemo and all things cancer.  

The sales person that waits on us haunts me as we shop. 
I can't make the fog lift enough to recall where I know him. 
Did I have him in kindergarten years ago? 
I knew he had waited on me once before.
 But the revelation didn't come until he wrote his name out.
  He was a friend of Elijah's; a few years older. 
And when I said who I was, that grown boy walked right around the counter and gave me a hug. He shared how he respected Elijah so much and how he was one of the finest people he knew. 
He too has lost much this past summer. And pain is a constant friend. 
This gentle hug in the midst of doing a hard thing is a gift that could have been missed. 
Elijah can't return to me.

 But the reminder of the impact he made on others can return to me, over and over. 
A child's life may be torn from this earth.
 But the light will always overcome the darkness.
And as we remember Sandy Hook and hold those families tight in our prayers, 
may the light of this Advent Season, in the form of a holy child, penetrate 
even the darkest corner of your being. 
He has come to bring light.

John 8:12
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, 
but will have the light of life."

He has come to bring salvation to a hurting world.

This rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus features pianist, Anthony Burger who was suddenly called to his heavenly home while performing. 
He is a marvelous musician. 
My mother adored him and now, I like to think she is singing the Hallelujah Chorus in the heavenly choir (and I am sure she is wearing purple), while Anthony plays, and 
my drummer boy plays the tympani. 

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