Today a high school on the outskirts of Houston was shot up. So far they’re eight children dead and four more seriously injured. By the time I post this those numbers could go up. It seems that the idea of gun reform is a lost cause so I won’t beat on that drum today. I also won’t offer thoughts and prayers because if I was a parent, that would do nothing for me. Your thoughts and prayers won’t bring their child back, your thoughts and prayers won’t take away the pain that will hunt them the rest of their lives.
As someone that has a child on the way, I can only imagine what it must be like to shelter and care for and nurture a child. To survive colds and child birth and hurricanes only to have that child gunned down somewhere where you thought they would be safe. Somewhere where you’ve been sending them since they were old enough to learn.
I’ve never seen a parent that didn’t worry about their child riding their bike in the street or getting home from school safely. I’ve never met a parent that didn’t keep one eye on that kid when they were at the beach or pool. I’ve never seen a mother bathe a toddler and turn her back for more than a couple seconds. These are all natural instincts and fears, what isn’t natural is worrying about your child at school.
We as a society offer thoughts and prayers to these parents, we set up GoFundMe’s and marches and as soon as a playoff game comes on or our President says something stupid; we’re on to the next hot topic of the day. We forget that these parents will never get to move on from this, they will never heal from this. You don’t think parents from Columbine still don’t think about their children, that was in 1999. You don’t think the parents from Sandy Hook don’t watch their neighbor’s kids playing in the street or see birthday parties on Facebook and break down? This is real life, real trauma, real heartbreaking stuff.
When our grandparents pass away after living a full life surrounded by family and friends you can understand it, you can hold their hand and feel that they’re at peace. When children don’t make it into this world, it breaks your heart, you ask God why but it’s life. It’s not supposed to happen in the middle.
I have a little sister that’s in the 11th grade. I have countless cousins and nieces and nephews that are in High School. If I’m being perfectly honest, I never really thought anything could happen to any of them. There are over 20,000 high schools in this country, the odds of one of them being involved in a shooting like this is under 1%. I use to rationalize it that way until today. Until it happens in your city, until you realize Texas leads the nation in buying guns. Now I can imagine it, now I can imagine what these families must feel.
I don’t like what I see when my imagination takes shape. So I can only imagine what their real lives must be life after today. After all the days where something like this happens.