My Nation’s Broken Heart – A Tough Read

I rarely feel the need to start my post with a disclaimer, but this one has been boiling inside me for days now and I am giving fair warning it may have unbridled thoughts, triggers, and stress inducing ideas. Read at your own risk.

Friday I decided to get my second COVID booster in preparation for attending my granddaughter’s high school graduation in Charleston. I was fortunate to experience very few side effects.

We had a great weekend. We started at the newly built Farmer’s Market where my husband played music with a small local group of musicians. Our daughter and his family came to see him play. We had a nice visit and they all went to lunch while I went to to ice my knee.

Saturday night we had a lovely dinner with our friends out on their deck. Their house is nestled in a beautiful clearing and is as peaceful as you can imagine. It was one of those rare nights of friendship and easy conversation surrounded by nature’s best.

Sunday my niece and her family came out for lunch (we had not seen them since the pandemic began). It was a lovely visit full of good food, catching up and lots of laughter. A much needed reunion.

Monday was a quiet day, my husband out and about with our potter friend.

Tuesday night was our four-year-old granddaughter’s graduation from pre-kindergarten in Florida. It was during her graduation ceremony the news started to trickle in about the school shooting in Texas. Suddenly, the world seemed to stop, just as the lives of more innocent people slipped away like their blood leaving their bodies.

I cannot get the mental images out of my mind. Children locked in a room with a mad man – watching their peers get shot and killed one by one. I cannot get the expressions of fear on their tiny faces out of my mind. Did they scream out for their parents? Parents that could do nothing to save them? Did they plead with a terrorist not to kill them? Did they expect a good guy with a gun would save them? And now, there are accusations that those who could have helped did not take the risks to save these innocent children. I know their parents have those same images in their minds, except they are the faces of their own beloved children, dying alone, terrified and calling for their parents in vain.

I don’t care how many arguments you try to state to the contrary, our lawmakers have blood on their hands. With each horrific shooting in this country, the blood gets thicker and stickier. They may as well have been holding those guns themselves. They sit deep within the pockets of the NRA and the gun manufacturers who continue to make money hand over fist selling weapon grade guns to anyone with money. It makes me sick to my stomach.

These legislators are the same ones who cowered in fear when armed terrorist surrounded them during the insurrection. And those people who terrorized the capital are the same ones that want their gun rights protected – all at the expense of the citizens in this country who try to abide by the law. They feel nothing when innocent children are killed for no reason. And citizens of color targeted and killed while simply shopping at a grocery store or people choosing to practice their faith. None of them had security to rustle them off to a safe holding area. They died in terror.

I cannot help but think about the parents. Do they shut the door to their child’s bedroom, or do they sit on the edge of their bed, or sit on the floor among their toys sobbing uncontrollably. Or what of the sibling who shared a room with their brother or sister who will never again whisper good night after the lights are turned off, looking forward to the days to follow.

I am tired of the memes that are posted all over social media. People post to show their concern – everyone is at a loss as to what to do. I knew I could never write another lighthearted post until I got this out of my system. I have donated money to organizations fighting for gun control. I am seeking out every hardworking organization fighting for gun control that I can join, sign petitions, or support, but it is not enough. It will never be enough until children can feel safe going to school. Until we all feel safe just living withing our communities.

And to my fellow bloggers who live in countries with gun control, I know you look on our country with disdain because we do not have gun control. We look on with disdain as well, but we need your support and empathy – not for our legislators, but for the children, parents, grandparents, and every day law abiding citizens who continue to fight for change, often beating our collective heads against a seemingly impenetrable brick wall. Our country is grieving and we are fighting for change. We are fighting a ferocious monster that grows two new heads each time one is cut off. We fear for our children.

I am in no mood for insulting or gun supporting comments. So if that is all you have to offer, don’t stop here, just continue on your merry way. If you have suggestions for effective ways to combat this disease that has infected our country, I am open to suggestions my weary mind cannot yet see.

I know it is not enough to write about it or post about it. I just need to grieve then find a way to fight non-stop to change it.