All I Can Do

No, I have not watched the news. I can't, and I won't.

I saw the headline yesterday, and turned off my computer for the rest of the day. I want to say I am horrified, appalled, struck with grief and fear and a sickness in my stomach that I feel will never pass. But those words aren't quite enough. There aren't words for this. How could there be?

I cannot read the articles. I will not join the political debates. It's of no use and no consolation to anyone who matters in the unimaginable wake of this. My opinions are inconsequential and uncalled for. I could never justify my rage in the face of sorrow. Because in the midst of all the fighting and finger-pointing and over-analyzing and diagnosing, we ignore the suffering. The media and disconnected masses will drown out the sound of those weeping in the darkness for the sweet loves that are never coming home again. Those crusaders demanding answers and legislation for a loss they cannot begin to comprehend, waging trite wars before small graves are dug, will not stop to think about the Christmas presents that will remain unopened or the bedrooms left empty or the hallways of a school stripped of laughter, homes stripped of joy. I will bear no part of that unholy noise that floods over the heavy silence of loss.

I can't and I won't.

I will simply stay home with my baby, as I do every day. I will hold him as much as he'll let me and steal kisses despite his protests. I will lay on the floor and play his simple games. I will sip from the empty teacup he hands me. I will help him tuck in all his stuffed animals, and kiss them each goodnight. I will take serious phone calls on the calculators he holds to my ear. I will terrorize the train station with plastic dinosaurs. I will laugh when he laughs and revel in the sound of his voice as he narrates his play. I will strive to speak his love language while my heart overflows with gratitude for the simple blessing of his presence. I will lay him down to sleep gently and tell him I love him with a love beyond love.

And I will think of those suffering in quiet moments when I am alone. I will remember the lives cut short and the silence where there should be laughter, and I will cry in solidarity with the mourning. I will vow to never know the name of the man who staked his claim to fame in the blood of innocent children. And I will respect the fact that this small offering of my heart will be meaningless, but it is all I have to give.