I have started to post a couple of times in the last few days, and have found myself at a loss for words. That's saying a lot since I make my living with words.
Our local shooting (at the mall where my family and I are often found hanging out in Barnes and Noble) was followed by the horrific one in the small town in Connecticut. Both acts of violence were ones that made me spend extra time walking into my sons' rooms and hugging them. Caspian continues to battle the fantastical realm of World of Warcraft while I hug him. Coryn continues to tweet and post and interact electronically with friends while I hug him. They both know that Mom's need for physical contact is a little higher these days. They always hug back. :)
The problem with today's communication system is that we know about all of these terrible events as they happen. We can't do a damn thing about them, so we feel all of the emotions--anger, fear, hostility, violence, grief--and have nothing to do with it. We can't exact revenge on the sick, sick people who have perpetrated these acts of evil. We can't comfort the parents. We can't save anyone. We are left feeling so helpless--or at least that is how I feel. Sad, worried, scared, and helpless.
Those emotions are NOT good for me. They do not make me a good writer, wife, friend, or mother. So, instead, I vow once again to do everything I possibly can to make this world a better place on a personal level. I am raising children who are loved and love in return. I listen to their worries and fears and try to help them find the right answers and best decisions. I support them, guide them, love them endlessly, and hope that, in doing so, they will go forward into the world and do the same. They will fall in love, pass on those feelings into the world, and hopefully also have children that they will raise even better than I could. And those generations will go on and on into the future, long after Joseph and I are gone, and make the world a better place.
I cannot help the grieving parents in Connecticut or Oregon or anywhere else. I can hold them in my heart and wish them peace. I can send a heartfelt card. I can think of them every time I interact with my children and other people's children. I can love my family, my friends, the world and the people in it, and hope, hope, hope it is enough to make a difference. Enough? Probably not. But it's a step, and I'm grateful to be a part of that step. Making a difference.