So once again I sit at my computer and type out the words that have been typed so many times before, “another school shooting”. Except this time it’s different, it’s different because the school is in my neighborhood. While my high school daughter does not attend this school it is only a few short miles from my home and we know several kids that do attend this school.
I recall all those years ago when the Columbine shooting happened. My daughter, who is in high school now, was only a few months old. Just a few short days after the shooting my daughter in her stroller and I slowly and thoughtfully staggered up the long winding path to the school. Warm tears streaming down my cheeks as I walked the path littered with flowers, notes, teddy bears, candles and so much more. As I approached the chain link fence surrounding the school with even more flowers, candles and ribbons tied to the links in the fence I dropped to my knees as i struggled to take it all in. The senseless violence, children struck down in their prime, innocence lost. Next to the school is a park, that day I saw something that to this day takes my breath away. At the top of the hill planted one next to the other as if students waiting in line to enter the school, stood 12 wooden crosses, one for each of the children killed that day. Crudely made, each name painted across, I stood and sobbed. I could not move, my feet heavy and unable to propel me forward, all I could do was cry as i waited for the feeling to return, which I don’t believe it ever will fully. I don’t know what compelled me to go to the school that day, but I had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to pay my respects just as thousands of others had already done
My daughter only being a few months old at the time I wondered what kind of a world she would grow up in. Now I know.
So when I heard the news today and realized that I knew kids at that school and it could have been my daughter, I once again dropped to my knees to pray for those kids and what has now been lost forever.
So if you are a parent and you are spending even one minute arguing with your ex over your kids, working to keep your kids and your ex apart, taking out your anger on your kids, or spending time, money and emotional sanity on a never ending battle over your children, stop. Just love your kids, know that our time with them is limited and it is up to us to make the most of each precious moment we have with them. Soon they will leave us and move on with their own lives and all the time spent trying to keep them with us will be just a sad memory, that is unless you are still paying the legal bills.
“Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted.” ~Paul Pearshall