To Love a Rose: An Ethiopian Adoption Journal

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Empty Chairs and Empty Tables

Photo Courtesy of In Focus Daily.

My heart and mind are still reeling from the tragedy that occurred last Friday.

A mother shot by her mentally deranged son, who then targeted and killed many children and teachers at an elementary school before taking his own life.

Tragic.  Terrible.  Heart-wrenching.  Disgusting.  Painful.  Horrific.  Nightmarish.

Words are never enough, are they?  That's how I've been feeling; that's why I've been silent.  What can I say?  No, words are never enough in the aftermath of tragedies like these.

But many people seem to have plenty to say.  Mostly about gun laws - pro or con.  This has sparked a massive controversy in America as people on both sides of the fence and people like myself (somewhere between protecting our second amendment rights and making it harder for the mentally ill and unstable to obtain guns/ammo).  And as the days go on, that seems to be the only topic of conversation coming out of this event.

Sure, there are those photo collages popping up here and there on F*cebook; and they all have thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of "likes", don't they?  All those bright, young, beautiful faces staring back from a computer screen, perhaps with a name typed above or below them; but more often than not it's guns we are talking about, and not these selfless and brave teachers and innocent children whose lives were stolen in an instant by a madman.

After any act of violence, I agree that it is right and good to examine ourselves and how we stand as a people and society.  But in this instance, I find myself exhausted of the use of these students' and teachers' lives being used as fodder for political agenda.

All I can think about is the endless amounts of empty chairs there will be this holiday season for the families of these victims.  All I can think about are the presents with children's names on the tags that will remain forever unopened.  All I can think about is the gaping hole in the hearts of the mothers and fathers and husbands and wives and children of these lives so senselessly wasted.  The magic of the holiday season is going to be a whole lot dimmer this year for these families; and my heart doesn't just break, it twists and moans and stretches and bleeds for them. 

If we want to discuss something, it should mental health - that of the many perpetrators of violent crimes every day in this country as well as that of those friends and family left behind in the wake of this horrific crime.  What are we doing for them?  For both sets of them?  Obviously, not enough for the one...hopefully, an over-flowing of support and resources for the other.

Someone on F*cebook said that "prayers and hugging won't help; so stop repeating these things" concerning the Newtown, CT tragedy.  Well, I disagree.  I have personally witnessed the power of prayer over and over and over again (I also know how much relief and comfort a well-timed bear hug can offer).

So, please know that if you are reading this, and you will be facing an empty chair this holiday season at your get-togethers, your parties, your family dinners, etc. I will be praying for you and your heart.  I will be praying for peace to somehow, someway hold you together and comfort your body, mind, and soul as you weather this treacherous storm of emotions and try to put together the pieces of lives ripped apart by sudden and tragic loss.  May LOVE and HAPPY MEMORIES forever fill those empty spaces this holiday season and always.

All the Love in the Universe,

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