|(Copyright Danny M Schweers 2002)|
I really didn't know how I could write this post. It's hard enough each year to see past the loss of Daniel, and as Christmas nears, I can't help but recall the early Christmas season when he left us, in a fraction of an instant.
Yesterday, I made a conscious choice not to listen to the media's coverage of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre. I planned to wait until the main media outlets stopped giving premature and inaccurate information before hearing and digesting it all. Finally, a clearer picture emerged and no less than twenty young children passed in just an instant. Six people, including a principal and a school psychologist put themselves between the gunman and the children, and sacrificed their own lives. The gunman ultimately took his own also. As I heard this yesterday, I could not help but be transported to an earlier time in which we had been homeschooling Daniel, and on a particular week, he had not completed all the work assigned. I told him the truth, that if he did not complete the work assigned on a consistent basis that the privilege of homeschooling could be withdrawn and he would have to go to public school. "No !" he said in horror. "I don't want to get shot !" This bothered me a lot. Homeschooling was something we chose to do because our children were excelling and because we have some really amazing activities available locally and with our homeschooling group. We did not sidestep public education because we thought the chances of getting shot in public school were too great. I explained to Daniel that steps were taken to improve security in schools and that getting shot there was not a viable reason to avoid public schools, high schools or for that matter, public universities. Ultimately, Daniel did finish all his work and continued his excellent work as a homeschooler. Yesterday, I felt so many things as I heard about the shootings. I felt as if I had lied to Daniel in telling him schools were safe. Most of all I felt a devastating sorrow for the parents of children whose lives were okay yesterday, and for whom they will never be again. My journey is four years in, and theirs is just beginning. I also felt sick for the family of a bright young man who apparently missed cues indicating the depth of his mental illness, who ultimately killed children, school staff and his own mother.
The mainstream media missed no time in asking gorgeous moppets how they felt about what they saw at the school. They also moved right along to the agenda of gun control, whereas I think staff at the school should be trained and armed in preparation for Al Qaeda terrorist attacks. Several years ago, intelligence indicated that terrorists were planning to attack schools in the United States.
Still, my prayers are with the families who lost loved ones yesterday. May God stay close to each of them, and may they feel his presence in these very very difficult first days.
Let us not forget that no matter what happens here on Earth, that God has our children home safely, and that they are spared this lengthy tribulation that we now face. Oh, I know it's hard, but I know we each can do it.