Yesterday, when I heard the news about the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, I was simply stunned like most of the rest of the country. The more information that came across the television, the more distressed I became. I had been baking biscotti and making candy and all the desire and joy seemed to fade away. I just kept listening to the television trying to grasp mentally all the feelings I was having inside. I finally just turned off the TV and decided to take a walk.
I went out into my herb garden and happened to pass by my Rosemary. I turned, reached down, and broke off a stem and took it over to my bench to sit down and just think. As I sat there thinking all that kept coming to me was how precious and adorable my two boys were at the ages of 5 or 6. They still grabbed your leg and hugged it and when you leaned down they would kiss your cheek and weren't embarrassed at all. They would hold your hand and then come evening they would get down on their knees and say their prayers before they jumped into bed. As you tucked the covers up under their chins they'd say, "I love you, Mamma." Yep, Mamma, they probably wouldn't like me telling you that but they did call me mamma. As I sat on the bench outside I began to quietly cry. Dear friends, I cannot begin to imagine losing my child, my sister, or my mother in such a disquieting way. It's hard enough to lose someone you love to something somewhat expected but this, this was just too much. All I kept thinking is how inconsolable I would be, how much pain and hurt there would be whirling around inside my mind and in my heart. There would be NOTHING, absolutely nothing you could say to me that would console me, NOTHING!!! I sat there on that bench and asked God to be patient, to reach down and wrap his arms around each person left from this blackness and hold them tight until they could look again to him and know that He has it under control and that there was still a purpose left in this life.
I got up and sniffed my Herb of Remembrance, Rosemary, and the memories started flooding me. There are just some awful things in life that stay with me - like the remembrance of President Kennedy being shot and killed when I was in the 6th grade, and 9/11 with the many days thereafter wondering what there really was to fear - but for some reason I feel like this will be something I remember as well. There have been many such awful experiences for some of us, certain memories that forever stayed linked to our heart. The world is changing and have you noticed it seems as though our very old and our very young are taking a horrible beating? There are days when I wonder how much more change any of us can stand - but that's not for us to know I suppose.
Maintain your faith, gather your courage and hold tight to hope!