Moving Forward

I was a second grade teacher for many years. If you have been following, you know that with everything that I am, I loved my job. I loved my students as if they were my own. I didn’t know and still don’t know how to be any other way. School shootings strike me at my very core. They hit me as a teacher and they hit me as a mother. There are enough problems and reservations about sending our kids out into the world anyway without worrying whether they are going to be gunned down. And to worry about that when we send them to school….unfathomable.

I will say only two things about the shooter who I won’t even mention by name. I hope he rots in Hell and that this time should not be about him. This time should be about mourning the victims and praying for their families. This time should be about discussing the teachers and administrators that put their lives on the lines for their students. And the students…the children…hearts are breaking all over the world while discussing them.

What now? Where do we go now? Talking about the funny things the kids do, the aggravating things they do, how frustrated we are with our husbands, even how grateful we are all seems pointless. In the face of such pain in the world, how can we complain? It’s hard to move on from this. It’s hard to put thoughts down, have conversations unrelated to this, celebrate the holiday season or even smile or laugh knowing that this has happened but if we stop laughing or smiling or writing or celebrating the little things and the big things, then the psychos of the world win. Whether they want to be famous or make everyone as miserable as they are, they will succeed and we can’t let that happen.

We will all hug our kids a little tighter. We will remember to say, “I love you” when they leave the house because we all got a horrific reminder that there are no guarantees. We will kiss their cheeks and thank God that they are home safe but because they are human and we are human, they will still frustrate us. They will continue to do funny things that we will want to share. Motherhood and marriage will happen and we will want to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly because that is what we do.

The saddest realization of any tragedy, senseless or not is that life goes on. As much as we want it to stop and let us catch our breath, it doesn’t let us. It keeps moving. So, we will never forget and we will keep praying for those that lost their lives at the hand of someone who was pure evil but we will keep moving forward. Because what other choice do we have?

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  1. {Melinda} We live in such a mixed-up, dangerous, fallen world. More and more, I keep looking to Jesus for my security. It certainly can’t be found in anything here on earth. Giving in to despair is not an option. We all have too many people depending on us — especially our children who look to us for direction and guidance on how to live and carry in even when our hearts are breaking.
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..flying shepherds? It’s real-ityMy Profile

    • That’s exactly it. Our kids depend on us, look to us and yes, I agree that there isn’t anything on Earth to give us the security we need. I don’t know where I would be without my faith.

  2. What you said. xo

  3. This is perfectly said my friend. My instinct is always to stop everything. To only talk about the sadness, the grief, the tragedy. To do nothing but think about it, read about it, soak it in until I honestly almost feel sick. Lisa and I had a whole conversation yesterday about how to proceed with this week on the blog. There is no right way or wrong way to go here. If you post something normal does that somehow mean you don’t care? Of course not. You said it so well…life does go on. Thank you for this post.-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted..We Are Giving It Up Because We Can…and ShouldMy Profile

    • You have no idea how much this comment means to me. I always worry when I write stuff like this. It’s so hard to know what to do. Thanks again for knowing exactly what to say to me. :)

  4. I’m having trouble moving on. I can’t stop crying long enough to sort through my thoughts. We went to church this morning. I didn’t want to go, but I went anyway. I cried the whole time. I feel selfish for crying and being sad. I have two beautiful, happy, healthy children.
    Adrienne recently posted..A Special Christmas TreeMy Profile

    • I know. Everyone moves on in their own time. I wanted to go to church but didn’t because I knew I’d hear the music and lose it. I can’t stop crying when I think of the Christmas presents already bought for the children and the pain we know the parents are feeling. I look at the victims’ pictures and I can’t stop the tears from falling. You aren’t selfish. You are compassionate and it is because of those two beautiful children that you feel this so deeply. Their stories need to continue. They are the hope that this world isn’t all bad. Big hugs to you. XOXO

  5. What other choice do we have indeed? I’ve felt guilty all weekend for doing the mundane and not so mundane with my children. And I kept telling myself, that yes, life goes on and it will. But while it is so fresh it’s harder. May we never forget!!!
    Susi recently posted..Hubby to the rescue… and a few fill ins!My Profile

    • I have felt the same way. Each time a fight broke out or there was back talk and crying or tantrums, I would yell and then feel guilty because there are parents out there that would give anything to break up a fight or argue over when to go to bed. It is heart-wrenching. And you are right, it is harder to move on when it is so soon.

  6. I don’t think I’ve cried this much since Joey. :( I can’t stop thinking about all those sweet little ones. A reporter on our local news was telling some aspect of the story and she said she was not going to say the shooters name or show his face, and I thought – FINALLY, the news media is getting wise. Let’s talk no more of these monsters, but of the innocent people who were taken from us.

    Your last paragraph was just lovely, very beautiful. Hugs to you and your family.
    Kathy at kissing the frog recently posted..A Letter to the Sandy Hook ParentsMy Profile

    • Thanks, Kathy. Your post was even more beautiful. If anyone knows about moving forward, it is you. Hallelujah that some of the media is smartening up and making this about the victims and not the ones that caused it. Even as we move forward, the tears are sure to keep coming. Hugs right back to you.

  7. Maria Medved says:

    I say the best medicine is to continue bitching about our husbands and our kids.

  8. Exactly this. I know we need to move forward, even though I had a terrible time doing so over the weekend. I just felt..numb.
    Kimberly recently posted..Essence Of Now: Celebrating ChanukahMy Profile

  9. Truly, life is fragile.
    Like it has already been stated, life does go on-it stops for no one, but we can all determine to live with a little more purpose. Maybe our indirect actions can actually make a difference. Each helping hand to a friend, each burden we help carry, each child we help to reach for the stars in life…maybe these things will change the future a little bit.
    If they do, I will be grateful. My youngest child is 14, my other two 18 and 23. They aren’t babies any longer, but it doesn’t change the indescribable wrenching in my heart, the love and concern I have for them. And not too far down the road for me will be grandchildren.
    Yes, life goes on, but let me do my part to make the future better than it would have been, had I don’t nothing.
    Josanne recently posted..When My Heart Is OverwhelmedMy Profile

    • That is so true. The only thing we really can control is how we behave. The world would be a much better to live in if there were more people like you in it. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

  10. Oh my goodness, AnnMarie. “The saddest realization of any tragedy, senseless or not is that life goes on.” Wow–perfectly, perfectly stated. I’m feeling your pain and just so appreciating how beautifully worded all of this. Thanks for putting feelings into words, my friend.
    Meredith recently posted..Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus: RevisedMy Profile

  11. Oh what a perfect way to approach things now… you are so right AnnMarie. We don’t have a choice but to move forward as time doesn’t allow us to stop. My pastor called me Saturday and asked me to pick a scripture to share with the congregation regarding the tragedy as we were spending some service time on prayer for the fallen and families involved. I just kept thinking of John 11:35 over and over again… so I chose that verse. “Jesus Wept”. Someday, He will wipe the world of all evil…but until then, I believe He weeps with us…
    Chris Carter recently posted..The Latest Tragedy… Will You Join Me Again?My Profile

    • I do believe that He was/is crying along with us. I am finding it hard to move forward but I know for my kids, I have to. I can’t let fear and sadness stop me Then the bad or evil wins.

  12. So true that life moves on. There have been so many major events recently, Hurricane Sandy, another war in Israel, Syria (still), and now this. But there is still laundry to do, socks to sort, dinners to make, toddlers who won’t eat said dinner.

    I heard something about one of the funeral services this morning on NPR as I was driving home from Target, and I could stop the tears from coming. But I had to keep going. And we all have to keep going.

    As a tribute to those who have lost their lives, their homes, their sense of security, we could all pledge to do our best to make the world a better place. To commit multiple acts of kindness to strangers and loved ones both. To smile and give compliments. To increase our patience. If we have to move on, shouldn’t we try to make improvements as we go?

    Wishing strength and love to all of us.

    • That is a great idea! Moving forward in a way that makes this world a better place. I’m going to do it. What you said in the first paragraph is so true. Laundry, dinners and toddlers stop for nothing. Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

  13. It’s so hard to know how to handle situations like this. When faced with our greatest fears, our biggest horrors, it’s almost too much to take. Moving on while still being respectful and never forgetting- such a tricky balance in such a terrible situation. Knowing how to do it right is always a challenge. And you’re so right- what choice do we have? xo
    Ashley recently posted..Supporting Sandy Hook ElementaryMy Profile

    • It is too much to take. I have started about 12 posts and can’t keep writing without feeling like the words are absolutely insignificant. Trying to move forward is proving harder than I think any of us thought.

  14. It’s so angering, so heartbreaking, so… sucky. But I found myself turning away from the coverage. I hold those little children and their families in their heart, but having lost a child within the last year, I had to compartmentalize it or I was afraid I would fall back in my hole. I pray for those mothers.
    Alexa recently posted..Big Give Away! Interview with "Cephrael’s Hand" Author Melissa McPhailMy Profile

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