I recently found Wito’s school photo retakes in his backpack. Sparkling eyes, a huge toothless grin…it’s very difficult to look at them right now. I think of the Sandy Hook victims’ school photos…how many of those sweet children were missing some of their baby teeth too? Did they smile shyly or with boisterous accord?
I don’t know what any of the victims look like. I still can’t watch the coverage. I can barely get through any of the articles.
I just…I just can’t.
Wito’s first grade holiday program is tomorrow morning. How am I going to shove these feelings of sadness down into the depths of my stomach while I watch children of the exact same age sing holiday carols? How will I keep myself from dissolving into a mess of tears?
I’m not sure.
I watch Wito’s teacher during pickup after school. I want to hug her, to tell her how immensely thankful I am for her, but I know I will start crying. Instead, we exchange quick glances as I grab Wito’s hand.
I make dinner in the new kitchen while the Christmas tree flickers in the corner and Bing Crosby croons “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” on the radio. I wonder if the holiday season will now, always and forever, be a horrible time for the victims’ families.
I don’t want to know the answer.
We all grieve in different ways. Some silently, some loudly, some calling for change in policies and social stigmata, some with wallets…I choose to believe it all comes from a good place, and we should be accepting of how people choose to deal with tragedy, not throwing jabs at each other.
Even though it seems cruel, life moves forward. For the better? I hope. I know it’s become painstakingly clear what truly matters.