It’s been a strange and heartbreaking week. I can’t watch the news for fear I’ll see more bad news. My Facebook feed is full of heartbreak, of people hurting and knowing that I can’t help them. So today, I’m just going to talk.
- All week, I have struggled to find the words to talk about Orlando. You see, we all see the world through our own experiences, and mine is forever impacted by tragedy striking my own community just over 9 years ago. Unfortunately, I have some idea of what their communities are going through, something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. The organizer of Virginia Tech’s vigil for the victims on Sunday, Daniel Newcomb, found the words for me: “Before today, Virginia Tech carried this mantle of being the place where the deadliest shooting in American history happened. That’s a mantle that we never wanted but we never wanted to give it up. Because we never wanted anybody else to go through what we went through.” I don’t know the answers to stop these horrific shootings from happening. I wish I did. I think it’s just way more complicated than anyone can fathom.
- My heart has been hurting too, for the family of Lane Graves, a little boy lost in a tragic accident. I tear up every time I see his photo, knowing life will never, ever be the same for his parents and sister. I know all too well how quickly things can happen with a toddler – how you can turn around and they’re several feet away from you. Kids are faster than you think. It could have happened to anyone – any of us. I hope his family knows we are mourning with them.
- Finally, one more voice gone too soon that I can’t forget – Christina Grimmie, gunned down after a performance – a young woman pursuing her dreams. To be honest, I know very little about her, but seeing her smiling face in the news coverage, knowing she died doing what she loved, just breaks my heart.
So much heartbreak just this week, and it just makes me wonder the kind of world we are preparing our babies for. I don’t want my daughters to grow up in a world where this is the norm. I don’t want them to worry going to a concert, a club, vacation, or anything else. I don’t want them to live life in fear, but I also know I can’t protect them from everything, and I can’t protect them forever.
All I can do is teach them love, acceptance, and tolerance. I can expose them to different people and cultures and teach them to have open hearts. It’s all I can do.