By: Crissie Miller Kirby
I felt his presence before I saw him. Even though my children and I were safely locked in our car, I knew he was there. The county deputy was walking up and down the sidewalk in front of my children’s school.
Without question, I knew why he was there. It was the Monday following the tragedy that had befallen Newtown, CT and our school was sending the quiet message that the safety of our school’s faculty, staff and, most importantly, children was of the utmost importance, and that we would do anything we needed to in order to protect our quiet corner of the state.
But, I cannot lie; the deputy’s presence unnerved me. It rocked me to my core because it meant that we all had to accept that something like the tragedy in Connecticut could happen in rural South Carolina. It forced us all to admit that while that disturbed young man was stealing the lives of all of those innocent children and adults, he was also attempting to steal the perceived safety that many of us have had each and every day when we send our children off to school.
To try and make sense of the violence is futile; here can be no true rhyme or reason. Even if we get some answer, what difference does it truly make? None, for no other reason than no answer and no reason will EVER bring those innocent lives back. And there is no reason under the sun that can explain away those lives. Still, we want to ask “why?”
I cannot imagine the pain and feelings of loss that those parents and loved ones feel. My oldest son recently turned 7 years old, the same age as many of the victims. As I sit here less than a week before Christmas, my life is filled with questions about what the boys are getting for Christmas. What is Santa bringing them? What have they asked for? I smile when I give the answers, thinking already of the smiles and laughter that will come on Christmas morning when my boys see what all Santa has brought. The Newtown parents, I am quite sure, have been planning the same. Now, instead of laughter and smiles and plans of setting out those special toys on Christmas Eve, they are planning funerals.
Again, I cannot imagine. I don’t want to imagine. And even though I know that there is no good answer and no good reason, I just want to ask “why?” Why, especially, target the precious faces and smiles of young children? And, again, I know that there is no answer sufficient.
So, last night, as in each of the nights before, I have allowed my boys to sleep with me. If nothing else, it gives me a sense of security in knowing that we are all together and maybe I can protect them. It reminds me to be thankful, each day, of these beautiful little blessings God has bestowed upon me.
In closing, I leave you with the beautiful words and voice of Josh Groban singing “Thankful.”