Monday, January 14, 2013

The Aftermath : Looking for the Answers Within : Recap

Today marks the one-month anniversary of the horrible shooting that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  My heart continues to break, not only for the families of the victims, but also for all the parents, children, teachers and staff at the school and in the community. I can still see their tiny little faces as I imagine the fear they had in their last moments on this earth.  I hope they didn't suffer, felt the deep love their parents had for them, and left this earth peacefully.

I imagine my own son, crying for me, and my not being able to save him.  I can see the look on his face seconds before he witnesses such a tragedy.  I can’t help but wonder what could have been done differently to stop this from happening.

Is gun control, arming teachers, or having guards stand at the front door of our schools the real answer?

I sound like my mother when I start to say things like, “I remember a time…” but I am a mother now and I do remember those times, and I would do anything if my child could grow up in simpler days.

"However we treat the child, the child will treat the world."   
- Pam Leo

I don’t blame Adam Lanza’s mother, although there seem to be things she could have done differently.  I guess, then, I am blaming her, but as a mother, I don’t know what I would, or could, have done in her shoes.

Are our children who they are, or what they learn?  Can we, as parents be held responsible for the choices our children make?  We make decisions each and every day of their lives, which we believe will steer them in the right direction.  We act as role models, sometimes flawed, but, for the most part, our intention is to do the best that we can.

Yet even when those purposeful, well-thought-out decisions are made, we still don’t know the outcome.  Our children’s personalities, the way they behave, and the choices they make, are ultimately their own.

Adam Lanza wasn’t a child who killed people; he was a young man killing children and adults.  Adam Lanza is responsible for what he did, but he took his own life, making our quest for justice impossible.  But the question of responsibility, something far more problematic than justice, remains.

What we do about this now, in the aftermath, today, and in the future, demonstrates how responsible we are.  Will we take on violence, gun control, video games, mental illness, bullying, and hate?  Are we any closer to taking responsibility for the world we have come to know?   I don’t know.  But I do know this; if we don’t, our children won’t.

I take responsibility for my own actions and words, and will try and make a difference.  I will continue to be a role model to my son, Braden.  I will teach him respect, love, compassion and empathy, not only for himself, but also for others, and for life.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and community of Sandy Hook Elementary School. I don't know how life goes on after something like this, but somehow, it just does.