My heart is still broken. It's been hard for me to stop my mind from thinking about it and I've been tearing up constantly. It's been hard for me to continue about my normal life, to go about the many errands of the holidays season, and to attend Christmas and birthday parties with a smile on my face and act like nothing is wrong. Because all I want to do is grieve for all those affected by this child massacre. I want to stay inside my house and snuggle my kid all day and cry and pray for those who no longer have their little boy or girl to hold.
I can't watch the news anymore because the focus is on the evil that caused this. Who he was, what his story was, what mental illness he had, how he got those guns. I know his name. The world now knows his name, as I'm sure he wanted us to. But do we even know one of the names of his hopeless victims?
I can't talk or listen to people anymore because it's been turned into a political war against guns and other issues. I hear the vehement protests for and against every issue involved here. There is a new war against guns and for guns. For God and against God. For heightened school security. For greater awareness and research of mental illness. I understand both sides of each argument, because I know each protest and argument comes from a place of love and protection. But I think if never before, now is the time to admit that the problems our world has are very, very complicated and multi-faceted and desperate. And I don't know what the solution is yet. I just know that during this time, as the holiday is approaching, I want to be near my son and husband more than ever, to hold them and squeeze them tight and feel the blessing of them in my life.
I went to church this morning in hopes that the service would somehow make me feel better. That it would help me understand and bring my heart whole again. But it didn't. I couldn't stand there and sing "Hark the Herald" and praise God and laugh at the pastor's jokes. I wanted to grieve. I realized today that I can't find solace in the news, on my news feed, in talking to other people, or at church, and unfortunately I live too far away to attend one of the memorial services in Newtown. But I can and will do what feels right for me to do. I will continue to pray, I will continue to grieve, and I can and will hold my own vigil. Starting tonight and for 10 minutes every night, for 26 nights for each any every single one of the victims of Friday's shootings. Dedicated solely to them and their parents and their families. I will light a candle, I will find a quiet, dark place and for 10 minutes I will pray for their lost life and that God be with their families in this heavy time of sorrow.
Below are the names of all of the victims I will be praying for for the next 26 nights. I am starting tonight with Victoria Soto. She hid her first graders in the cabinets and closets after hearing the gunfire. When the shooter came into her classroom, she told them that her students were in the gym. He then gunned her down and moved on. She saved the lives of all those children and I know there is a special spot in heaven for her, and I know she will continue to be an example to everyone who hears her story.
We are living in a very dark world but my candle reminds me that darkness cannot extinguish even the tiniest flame, and that the darkness will only make their light brighter.
- Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
- Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male
- Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.
- Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female
- Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
- Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female
- Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
- Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female
- Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
- Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female
- Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
- Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male
- James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
- Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female
- Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female
- Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female
- Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
- Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male
- Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
- Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female
- Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
- Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female (full date of birth not specified)
- Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female
- Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female
- Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
- Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female
During the Vietnam war there was a man who stood outside the White House every night holding a single candle. After several weeks, the news discovered him and a reporter came and said something like, “Sir. Do you really think that standing here with this candle is going to change the world’s mind?” And the man looked at him and said, “I don’t stand here with my candle to change the world. I stand here to keep the world from changing me.”
Praying for peace for people everywhere. That people may find comfort, and know that God is close to the brokenhearted. Psalm 34:18