As I carefully watched the reports and heard of small children whose lives were cut much too short, I was deeply moved. It shouldn’t happen. We all know that. And yet it did. And there are no words.
On Saturday I saw the list of all who lost their lives inside that school. The children were younger than I expected. Somehow, seeing their names and ages made it even more real. Yet it was already so desperately real for you.
On Sunday, I saw the list of names and birth dates again. My eyes scanned the page. Again, thoughts of these who were too young. Too young.
And then I landed on your son’s name, and his birth date: September 12, 2006. I remember that date vividly. My life was so full of expectations on that date. I was in the hospital for a large part of that day – and so were you. I was in Triage, waiting to see if they would keep me and induce my labor, or send me home for another couple of days. See, our daughter was due September 21st, but due to some complications, I was in a suburban Philadelphia hospital, wondering what our next steps would be, on September 12, 2006.
And somewhere, not too very far away, from what I have read, you were also in a hospital, welcoming Benjamin into the world. I remember the hustle and bustle of our September 12, 2006. Full of excitement, full of joy, full of exuberance that we would soon meet our girl. Our Princess.
I imagine your September 12, 2006, was even more joyful – your son had arrived! Those first few hours of life are really like no other moments in time. All is perfect. All is right with the world, and the road ahead seems smooth and wonderful!
Our daughter was born on September 13, 2006, one day after your little son. And that is why my eyes stopped on his name on that list so full of heart break.
I don’t even need to begin to tell you how awesome it is to have a 6-year old! They still need you, as a mom, but they are so much more independent. Life is a grand adventure, moment after moment, waiting to be lived and enjoyed, and there is something sacred about the way that they love life. The world is still so perfect at that age – the possibilities for what might happen are truly endless. As it should be.
We both know there are no words that I can offer you. That seems a tragedy to me. How I wish – how every person who has heard of this horror, wishes they could do something. It would make us feel better. But it won’t return what was taken from you. All that we can do is offer our time and our hearts; our prayers and our promises to not forget this.
We promise to hug our children more tightly. We promise to pause and reflect on life as a 5-, 6-, or 7-year old. How fun and carefree those days were! How our biggest concern was whether we’d have enough time to play with friends, or which toy to use first. We promise that music, love, and laughter will continue. We promise to just be – to be with our kids, to be with our family and friends. To be with you. We are here. We mourn with you.
I can’t offer you much that will soothe your spirits. But I will pray. I will not forget you when time has passed. While my heart breaks for friends and family of all involved, your family has a special place in my heart as I remember – so well – the day that your precious son was born.
Matthew 11:28 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Praying that at this tragic time in your life, you can find rest and peace in Jesus.
Dear Mrs. Wheeler, I am so deeply sorry for your loss.
Love and Prayers to you and yours,