As we celebrated the joys of Christmas and the coming new year, so many families in Newtown, Conn., are grieving and feeling nothing but emptiness and pain.
No doubt you all felt what I did that horrible Friday when I first heard the news. At first it was reported as a shooting at an elementary school. I assumed it was probably an estranged spouse taking revenge.
How sad, I thought, if a child witnessed this. Never could any of us imagine what was about to unfold.
Like so many of you, I watched in horror as the news came out about the tragic and gruesome murders committed by a deeply troubled young man. How could anybody methodically murder so many sweet, innocent children?
I cried, imagining the fear and shock those precious babies experienced that morning.
Dear God, if our children cannot feel safe inside their own school, what has become of our society?
Years ago I heard Rachel Scott’s father speak to a group of teenagers and their parents. Rachel was the first victim of the Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999.
Her father was a wonderful speaker, and most of us parents cried at least once while hearing him talk about his sweet 17-year-old daughter and the tragedy of that terrible day.
To honor her life and all that she stood for and believed in, he and his wife began a nonprofit organization called Rachel’s Challenge to help educate children on the dangers of bullying. They knew some of her passions because she left behind journals and other writings.
The children in Newtown were so young; their parents will never know what their passions would’ve been. Many of their siblings who are babies will never remember their sweet older sister or brother.
One sweet young girl lost her twin brother in the shooting.
Perhaps worst of all, their parents will always think of their child’s terror in the last moments of their life. It is almost too much to bear. My heart is still so heavy for these families and that entire community.
I just read an article written by a woman who candidly shares her own struggles with a mentally-ill son.
She titled her piece, “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother.” It gives insight into her own troubles with raising a child with mental problems.
Her son is 13 and has threatened her many times, pulling a knife on her, and has terrified his siblings.
The woman said she is scared of him. Why didn’t she get help? She said she tried many times, but our health care system, when it comes to mental illness, is truly broken.
I read this article just a few days after the Connecticut massacre, and it has since gone viral. Our entire country is struggling to understand and make sense of this horrible tragedy.
I am not making any excuses for the killer in Connecticut. I am just saying that any human being who can carry out such a horrific crime cannot be “normal” or mentally stable.
Of course, there are many factors and gun control will certainly be front and center in the news. I understand there will be much arguing going on as each side attempts to make its case.
I also know that no amount of gun control is going to stop a determined killer from killing. Remember the Oklahoma City bombing. Never forget Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City.
No matter what the conversation on this horrible event, let’s agree that praying for these sweet families and their community is something we can all do. Prayer is powerful and does have an impact.
We are a nation facing so many challenges and still reeling from this horrific attack on our most innocent.
Please pray for these families, their community and our nation as a whole.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.