I sat in the parking lot at Prince Elementary School as I heard the news. I found myself screaming NO at the top of my lungs. It didn't help much, but it felt good at the time.
Once again, the television is covered with pictures of a parking lot, with stories of reunions, with wondering when the next set of facts will be delivered to the hungry maw of the press.
I can't worry about more facts right now. I'm with the officers meeting the families of those who died at school today. They are stepping into the after portion of their lives. They've joined the club of the bereaved-by-a-gun ... and yes someone pulled the trigger but he didn't throw 13 hunting knives now did he?
I cannot care about the issue more deeply. I cannot do more than I am already doing to make my position known, to support organizations and candidates whose views coincide with mine, to encourage my friends and family and readers and strangers to take action. With some minor corrections on the edges, there really doesn't seem to be much progress at all.
Yes, we are chipping away at the NRA, one race at a time. But the national conversation has yet to find a champion to scream at the top of her lungs - THIS SHALL NOT CONTINUE.
There is a resigned overlay to the reporting. The tellers in the bank today shook their heads, commiserated with me, and then went back to work. I don't know why I'm surprised - if the murder of kindergarteners and teachers in an upscale Eastern town didn't create massive change, how can I expect junior college students' murders to do any more?
I am so very very tired of thinking about this. And really, what difference will it make? I cannot care more deeply, and feeling the sorrow will not help anyone at all. I have been reminding myself of that all afternoon - no one is helped if I am crying in a heap on the couch. It's an awful thing to say, but right now I don't have any more room in my sad box.
I sent TBG to the gym to spin away his angst and burgeoning PTSD hollowness. I spread sunshine wherever I went - thanking bankers for recognizing me and saying a real hello, congratulating cashiers on finding the best coupon I could use, not tailgating the much-too-slow pickup in front of me - hoping to right the balance of the world with kindness. I looked for the good in every encounter. I cannot let the shooter win. He cannot take this day from me.
Then JannyLou left me a message, wondering how I was doing and if there was anything she could do to help. We agreed that she could let me not think about it. She could agree with me that feeling sad will help no one. She acknowledged that trying to put it in the back of my mind did not make me a bad person, but rather a person who is still raw in the same space that these feelings are nudging.
I'm going to watch videos of FlapJilly and read an Ace Atkins mystery and spend some time with Phrynne Fischer and I'm going to try as hard as I can to avoid the news. I'm going to take care of myself, so that I can continue to fight another day.
Today, it's just too hard.