I went in to our bedroom and sat on our bed, and looked at my husband reading Harry Potter, tucked snugly into our sheets.
"I'm thinking of cereal bowls left in kitchen sinks." I said, ripping a square of paper towel off of a roll I had dragged in there. "I'm thinking of still warm pajamas left on floors, teddy bears with dried sweat stiffening their fur. Toys left out that will never be returned to."
"The kids that died today. The people that died today." Brett supplied quietly, as I curled into myself.
"I don't understand. I can't begin to." I sobbed. "But do you know what I am having the hardest time understanding? Why I spent 2 hours of my morning complaining about my life to my Mom today. Why I picked a fight with you during lunch. Why did I not look both ways before crossing the street this afternoon? I almost killed that biker."
"Not to contribute to your depression, but you kind of do that all the time and I'd wish you'd stop." He whispered.
"I just don't understand how...we don't get it." I pressed on, blowing my nose. "We don't get it. We don't get that life is this fragile and delicate thing, and it floats around in this really bad place...and bad things happen to good people. And, we can't stop it."
"It's not always a bad place, sweetheart. It can be, yes. But we can choose, each of us, to make it better. To put the light taken out back into the world. I know it sounds hollow right now, but we can choose love. We can choose life. We can choose peace."
His words stuck with me as I remembered jumping online earlier that afternoon to be met with an onslaught of opinions via my favorite social networking site hours after the massacre had happened. When I heard the news, I was on a treadmill at my local gym...and when it flashed over my screen I just stopped and thought: "Nope. No. No. This isn't...nope. Going home."
And numbly walked home, drenched in sweat, heart beating crazily out of control while I flipped my laptop open to facebook.
I didn't see what I expected.
I expected more updates speaking to the way I was feeling: numb, lost, cold, grief-stricken, scared. Instead, what I found was update after update of people I knew and loved on their "Don't take my gun away from me!" soapbox. Fights were breaking out left and right. Cruel insults were slung. People on both sides of the argument were engaging in virtual fisticuffs, and my stomach clenched with every update.
Wait- wasn't this crime...about hate? Wasn't the man that committed this crime...a hateful person?
So- what were we doing here, exactly?
Were OTHER people out there thinking of the empty and cold cereal bowls left in sinks? The mothers and fathers that tonight would curl up in toddler beds and weep until their eyes were swollen? The families broken? The souls lost?
Why were people insulting the president for crying during his press release? Or posting their 2nd amendment rights to their wall? I get you have your beliefs and your rights and your passion to uphold them...but now? This second? Today?
Can't we just...literally lay down our weapons and pray?
For one day can we all just draw together and think of something other than our political views, our selfish passions, our hate, our anger...and can we mourn? As a nation?
I went to yoga tonight, and usually the touchy-feely stuff they read at the end when we are mediating gets under my skin. But tonight the instructor read: "Look up into the sky. The trees may have all lost their leaves. They may be barren, and you may feel like spring will never kiss them again. But keep your eyes to the sky. The brilliant sky. And wait for the sun to touch you."
Choose love, my friends. Lay down your weapons.
Let us all band together. And wait for spring.