My 27th Act of Kindness

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.

9 thoughts on “My 27th Act of Kindness”

  1. You and your sweet and kind soul …. what beautiful words so honest and caring for all that were involved. His family that remain, his brother and his father, they will live with this legacy always. I cannot think of living such horror, or such sadness – either end of that scale is unfathomable.
    May we include them all in our prayers, those lost too soon, and those so tortured now.
    and you and your acts of kindness, this here speaks of your heart xxx

  2. I can’t wrap my head around what happened, but we can never be inside that trouble young man’s head. We don’t know what he was thinking, what demons he was battling. There is no way to make sense of this tragedy. But as a mother of a child with a neurological disorder, I can understand the shooter’s mother. I grieve for them all, but I also know it could happen to any one of us too.

  3. Nancy volunteered at the school – helping out with Kindergarten. It’s been said that Adam felt that she loved THOSE kids more than she loved him. He knew, also, that she was taking steps to have him committed. Anger and Jealousy. Those were the motives he had, most likely. If there is any fault in all of this – given that mothers must do what they do when dealing with their own – Nancy should have done what she was about to do a long time ago. That kind of thing is hard to ask of a Mother at ANY time – I’m sure she was driven to commit him – but well beyond the time she would have done if she was not his Mother.

    That said – ALL of that said – it would be you that puts herself in Nancy’s shoes. Because that’s just who you are. Sweet. Kind. Willing to look, and look hard, for the goodness, sweetness, kindness in others. HUGS to you, Kir. For being who you are.

  4. When we were about to succeed in having my sister committed, to rehab mind you, at age 26, she killed herself instead. When all of this happened in Newtown, I called my Dad, and we agreed that it was a miracle she had only taken her own life. She regularly drove drunk (people regularly took the keys; she regularly stole some more; she was trying to die that way) and you can be a mass murderer without a gun. But she also had this capacity for cruelty, even to the extraordinarily innocent. I’m just horrified for the victims of this crime, including Adam’s mother.

  5. Oh friend! I agree 100% and, silly oblivious me, never realized the random acts of kindness hashtag was numbered at 26. There were 27.

  6. This is so wonderfully worded. Yes, his mother was also a victim and should be remembered with kindness. The thing about mental illness is that it may not even show up until later in life. So, although our kids appear ‘fine’ now, that may not always be the case. (We know someone who had a son that seemed okay, but then snapped in his early twenties. He was diagnosed with Schizophrenia.)

    It’s a shame that the mother had to be one of the victims, but as you pointed out, it may be better than her living with what he had done.

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