In Honor of Those Who Were Lost

When I heard of the tragedy, my first reaction was to be afraid—to hold my children tight. But today is different. Today, I'm angry and I'm fighting back by showing that love is greater than any evil

The news from Connecticut has shaken me to the core and I'm well aware that I'm not alone in that feeling. Friday I was stunned into near speechlessness and my only desire was to get my hands on my own children. I wanted to hold them and see them with my own eyes, even though I knew they were okay. I wanted to reassure myself that my own most precious ones were safe. Later Friday night, I was a little nervous leaving my daughter at the school dance, wanting instead to keep her home with me, knowing that I couldn't.

But today is different. Today I'm angry. Today I'm fighting back. Today I will not back down to fear. I will not be afraid. I will not teach my children to be scared. I cannot lock my loved ones away because the truth is that tragedy can strike anywhere, anytime. I refuse to believe that the world is an evil place filled with horrible people. I just won't live like that. I will be cautious perhaps; afraid, no.

I do this because my children deserve it. I do it because I believe to do otherwise dishonors the memory of the victims. Their legacy does not need to be that children everywhere be locked away, with their view of the world altered forever. The sacrifices made by those involved and the ongoing effort to help those affected is greater than the evil visited upon Newtown. The love shown by a teacher who died hiding her kids in closets is larger than the man who killed her. SHE will be remembered forever as a hero. His name will be forgotten—hers will not. Love and courage are so very much bigger than hate and fear.

I ran across this yesterday and it really resonated with me:

This is greater. This is love. This is humanity at it's best—reaching out to those in need, helping them while they are weak. Darkness is simply the absence of light and as long as the light shines, the darkness cannot overtake it. Light may be more dim at times than others, but a light in the darkness cannot be ignored. We will be that light. When the darkness of unspeakable tragedy begins to envelop us, we will shine. We will be the glow that guides those who are struggling. We will be greater than circumstances, larger than those who do evil. We will wrap our arms around those who are suffering. We will not be afraid.