Sunday, December 16, 2012

love to the parents of kids now gone

So much of what we have is so fragile and so small and so temporary and so transient that it's hard to appreciate it when we have it but easy to mourn when it's gone.

Raising a child is so difficult.  Waking up every night, dealing with all the bodily functions that as adults, we've become used to doing for ourselves, but learning again fresh about them doing them for another little person.  The crying and screaming and the diapers and the exhaustion.

But raising a child is so wonderful too.  I've never felt so much love, and have never felt so loved.  I sometimes don't feel worthy of all the love I get from my kids.

To have a child taken away- that I can only imagine and honestly don't want to imagine.

I left work  early on Friday.  There wasn't much to do, and I couldn't just sit still in front of my stupid computer the rest of the afternoon after reading the news about Sandy Hook on my lunch break. 

I had errands to do- yes, but mostly I just needed to get OUT.  I wanted to see my kids and kiss and hug my kids, but mostly just get out of the chair and out of the dead silence of an engineering office.

I drove around- doing some errands- trying to get some stuff done that I wouldn't be able to do after the ice storm hit and found myself crying while listening to a stupid song on the radio.  Actually not that stupid, but meaningful in a way that I don't think it was meant to me.  Tonight.  We are young.  So let's set the world on fire. and.. unintelligible stuff... etc.

I was thinking about all the young people who now won't be growing up- and about the young adults who want to set the world on fire and who see taking up a gun and killing innocents as the way to do it, and my own youth, wasting away as I sit in front of a computer designing parking lots for oil refineries -and about the beauty and value of life after spending half a year watching my wife fight for hers.  

And all that's wrong with this place we live in and the time we are living in.  It's driven a lot of people to violence- that's clear.  And then what?  Really- what comes next?

I don't have any answers, and the people who claim to are clearly full of shit and I don't want to become one of them.

The presidents' tears seemed disingenuous.  He's willing to call in drone strikes on kids- and he cries about these?  But, of course, the man isn't made of wood.  Maybe he cries about the Afghan kids he's killed too.  I don't know.  Actually I hope he does.

All the usual platitudes are repeated in all the same media outlets.  How many times will we hear that the tragedy was senseless, and that there are new stars/angels/rainbows in the heavens now?   That we must pray for the victims and their families.  That guns don't kill people, people kill people (with guns, of course).  That the shooter was a monster, and acted alone.

How many monsters is this country capable of producing? 

How can this be considered an advanced nation, or a developed nation, or a place with a high standard of living, when people are killed, in public, by ostensible monsters on a regular basis?  This is not the pinnacle of human achievement.  This is not a healthy society.  This will be forgotten by most people who did not personally lose a child or other relative, within a week, and that is a sign of deep dysfunction.

And what to do?  What can be overthrown or gotten rid of to cure the dysfunction?  What needs to be done?  ----Actually, that may be the problem.   The notion that a revolution or an overthrow or a shoot-em-up-western-take-out-the-bad-guys-scene is what's needed.  The cure is worse than the disease!  The cure is the disease. 

I would like to be hopeful.

It's increasingly difficult. 

My kids are in bed now and their cousins are sleeping over too.  I'll check on them and give both of mine a kiss before turning in.  What else can I do?


  1. Sometimes there is no cure.

    Everything dies: people, nations, civilizations, ways of life.

    But when one thing dies, it makes room for something new to grow.

    Save what you can.
    Take care of those you love.
    Let go of the rest.