I have hardly thought of anything else.
Yes, even in the midst of my favorite time of year and the oblivious nature of my children as they celebrate the birth of Christ, last Friday’s shootings have weighed heavily on my mind.
I have written about it, I have prayed for peace and comfort for those families who lost a loved one and I have joined my hearts and hands with the town of Newtown as they grieve their losses.
But one thing is bothering me. The news has talked about 26 victims, #26ActsofKindness (which I am participating in as a way to pay tribute to those lives we lost as a nation), but in my heart…there are 27 victims.
With every news story about the shooter’s mom, Nancy, I see a portrait of a mom.
A mom just like me.
A woman who was trying to do the best thing for her troubled son, a woman whose “whole life revolved around him.” With yesterday’s news coming out about how she may have been in the process of committing him to a psychiatric facility, my heart sank even more.
I am not the mother of a child with a mental illness or a neurological disability. But I could have been, any of us, could have been. I’d like to think that the other moms I know would do what was best for our child, along with praying that they never hurt themselves, us or the world at large. I don’t like when Giovanni or Jacob make fun of another child, or fight among themselves, I couldn’t imagine the horror of knowing that they intentionally hurt another human being.
My thoughts have often turned to Nancy, the 1st victim of the shooter’s rage; the woman who gave birth to this young man and by all accounts raised him the best way she knew how. My eyes tear when I think about the fear and frustration she must have lived in, never really knowing the child she brought into this world but working like all of us do (as mothers) to give him a good life.
My heart is big enough to accept that the world may want to just think about the babies and heroic teachers that gave their lives, whose light was snuffed out by a force of evil too big for us to ever comprehend, but it’s also big enough to encircle Nancy. To admit that this was not her fault, that as much as we want to place blame, her doorstep is not the place to lay it.
She bled and suffered as much as the 26.
The Acts of Kindness I am giving back to the world are going to number 27, one for each Victim of that shooter’s rage, delusion and hate. I will never forget any of the lives and lights he forced out of our world with his anger. My prayers for every family and every soul lost will include his mother.
While my thoughtsare on Kindness, I’m having a hard time accepting that he was capable of any in the wake of his rampage. Yet, the one thing I keep coming back to, is that maybe his only act of it, his entire life, was killing his mother first. Nancy did not need to live the nightmare that day of watching her flesh and blood slaughter the innocent, did not have to stand by and watch her son take those lives. She didn’t have to accept the fact that for all she did to help her son, it wasn’t nearly enough to heal him.
And I will stand in tearful thankfulness and hope that I, as a mother, will never have to either.
Hug your babies.
Act with Kindness.
Live in Hope and Peace.
Please keep the 27 Victims of Sandy Hook in your thoughts today and always.