This year I seemed to have found more Christmas spirit than I normally do. Friday night we had our friends over and amidst much champagne, nibbles and dancing we decked our tree; I was blissfully unaware of the tragedy that had taken place in America as my friends and I danced around the Christmas Tree while Andy and Robert sat back and laughed.
And then I woke up to the news on Saturday morning and haven't felt quite right since. I'm so thankful that all of the children in my life are safe and accounted for, yet when my friends and colleagues are chatting about their children's Christmas concerts and the upcoming school parties I can't help but gulp back a few tears. It's just all so wrong that 20 little children and six of their teachers have been taken from this world so cruelly. I don't know how anyone (at least those of you who have children in your life, be they your own or not) can't be thinking about this, at least somewhere in the back of your minds. Even if like me you aren't watching the news constantly.
I'm not a mother, not in the real sense and it's times like these when I feel almost relieved that I don't have a child of my own, even though at one point I thought the grief of not having one would be the worst I could feel.
Parents probably argued with their kids on that morning, hurrying them to get dressed, or eat their breakfast. Maybe they talked about the upcoming holidays before they kissed them goodbye that morning, fully expecting them to be there waiting at the gates come 3:00. And now? How can any parent ever drop their child at school and not have the thought cross their mind (even if it's a year later) that something like this could happen again?
I don't know if anything will change because of this. I don't know what can change. I do know that something changed inside of me when I heard this news, mother or not. I don't want to think of the world as a bad place because it is filled with so much good as well but at times like this it's really hard to remember that.
I wasn't sure if I should even talk about this, however I couldn't not acknowledge it. I often read my posts from year's gone by and I think this is something that was just too important not to record. I never want to forget how devastating this news has made me feel. Seeing the photo on the wall of my I-phone, the one of my little niece Clara, smiling her toothy grin from under her Christmas hat, makes me want to cry because she's so innocent and perfect and thankfully, she's safe in the arms of her loving parents. I know they will be holding her that much tighter now and especially on Christmas morning.
No matter what I'm doing, I'm constantly reminded of what happened and my heart breaks for the parents and loved ones of all those who were lost last Friday and how nothing about this Christmas is going to be merry for them.