Over the years, I've often been asked, "why do you write?"
I write because sometimes my mind becomes a cluttered, jumbled mess of emotions, thoughts and expressions that find a home in the form of sentences and complete paragraphs. I write to quiet a crying heart and bring her peace. I write because there is healing in expression.
I write because sometimes saying the words with your tongue is too loud for the quiet, solemn moments in which you find yourself.
With that said, I wrote a letter today.
My heart is still broken and a little dark from the tragedy that befell you Friday. I often have to stop my mind from thinking about the details and have not watched the news one time since I read the brief article about what transpired. It's too much for my mother heart.
The pain your parents must be experiencing from your all too soon departure is something I cannot begin to imagine, and if I try, my mind and heart becomes heavy once more and I have to remind myself to breathe. Circumstances do not allow me to speak to them or personally share in their mourning. Because I am mourning.
I don't imagine there will ever be an appropriate time to share my own thoughts and feelings with each of your heartbroken parents, but I would like to share the change that has taken place in me over the last few days.
I write this letter with my own darling baby sitting next to me, cooing and bubbling. I have four babies actually. Three of them aren't really babies anymore, but I bet more than one of you were still called baby by your mom or dad once in a while.
When I read how quickly and how many of you left this earth, my own little ones were having their afternoon nap. The house was still and I was alone. I was relieved, because I could not weep quietly over what happened. Losing you of course, seemed so senseless, evil and wrong. But I also wept for those you left behind. Those left behind don't get a chance to sit on Jesus' lap, (as I'm sure you have) so he can wipe tears and soothe the pain. Those left behind still have to wait to see that benevolent face that greeted you. I wept for you. And I wept for them.
While still staring blankly at the news story, one of my toddlers woke up suddenly from his nap. He had a bad dream. I tip toed out of the room with him in my arms, while his brother and sister slept. He was still in that foggy place between sleep and awake as I sat on the couch and kissed his soft, red hair. We were both quiet and he never noticed that my tears continued to fall, quietly this time.
When he was ready, he asked me to read a book with him. I wiped my tears, gave him a big hug and told him I would love to. We read a few of his favorite books about tractors, trucks and a things found on a farm. The dishes, laundry, and regular messes of our day sat all around us. Things I would usually try and get done while more than 2 kids were napping. But I didn't care. It was a tender moment that I wanted to last forever.
It will in no way begin to heal their still bleeding hearts from missing you, but maybe one day your parents will know the resolve that took place in my very bones to show my children how much I love them. Hugs, kisses, kind words, story time, block playing, puzzles, more patience during tantrums, mac and cheese for dinner once in a while and a happy, grateful mom will hopefully be a few ways they notice how much they are cherished in this home. How special they are. How much I love them.
And maybe one day, if it's ever appropriate, your parents will know the strength I gathered to determine to be more caring, more loving and more Christlike to everyone around me. Those I don't agree with as well as those I do. Those who aren't kind and those who are. Love One Another -- not just a nice thing to say, but something I do with a fervent conviction.
Lessons I don't have to tell you of course. Jesus wants us to be more like you because children already know and practice these lessons of love and tolerance. I need to take better notes from my own children on these matters.
My personal thoughts and resolutions are insignificant in comparison to those that knew you best. But I wanted to share my heart. It has been broken more than once before this tragedy for various reasons, but each time it does, I look to the Light. The Christ who held you in his arms the day you left here.
The One who makes all things calm. All things bright.
Merry Christmas little ones.