Friday, December 14, 2012

A Father's lament - more innocent children died today in Connecticut

On that now infamous September 11th, I was working in a boat on Tampa Bay trying to help restore sea grass.  We saw the fighters scream overhead that we learned (Later) were to escort Air Force One away from Sarasota.  It was only when we got back on land that we were sucked into the maelstrom of the day.  That night I hugged my oldest daughters closer and tighter then I had in the days and months before.  I cried in front of them too as I tried to explain what was happening - and that was probably the first  time they saw their dad shed tears (my earlier divorce from their mom not withstanding).

My younger kids have seen me cry before.  When my close friend from college passed away earlier this year from cancer, the two littlest ones watch their daddy break down at the dinner table, Facebook having delivered that terrible news.  Mercifully for me, they both hugged and held on, perhaps not knowing why.

Tonight they may see their dad cry again, once I get them home and safe in our living room.  No parent can see the news coming out of Newtown Connecticut today and NOT want to sweep their kids up in a bear hug that lasts an eternity.  To be sure, we want to comfort them if they are scared - but equally we want to be comforted by their little faces, warm breath, and young and naive zeal for the world around them.  That passage of energy from young to old, child to parent, is the only salve that can hang upon our open wounds today.  For no matter what the FBI or police turn up, no matter how many warnings of this were ignored, no matter how irrational our gun control laws continue to be, it is the warm th of their smiles that will save us all.

Rest in peace small ones.  We can not know what you would have done in your lives, but we can be assured that your kisses, you hugs, your art projects, and your indomitable energy has already left its mark on the world around you.  Your cruel passing can not take that from you, or those who love, and now mourn, in your wake.

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