Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Remember. April 16.

We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.... We will prevail....
-- Nikki Giovanni, University Distinguished Professor, poet, activist
They say you never forget where you were when tragedy strikes. I had actually gone into F's school to help with a teacher appreciation breakfast. The principal came in and announced that they were locking down the school because there someone had been shot at VT and the shooter was still at large...so just a precaution. I returned home and for hours watched it all unravel. First one, then five, then eleven, then more than 20, and in the end, 32. 32 gone, while I was helping the PTA. Watching the first responders as they approached in the flurries. Watching the feed from a cell phone & hearing the gunshots. I watched as my little 'Burg was all over the national news. I will never forget where I was...
I have to go out today so I don't sit and wallow as the news coverage again returns to the Burg. Because even now, and throughout the past year, as something about April 16th arises, I get this blow to the gut reaction and tears flow almost instantly. Just a few, and I can then reclaim my emotions. Growing up in B'burg and being so intimately connected to VT my whole life, this tragedy strikes at my heart. For me, I think the tears will pass, but for many I fear they won't.
It reminds me I must teach my boys to love instead of hate, to speak instead out shout, to savor instead of destroy, to honor instead of degrade, and to seek peace and understanding instead of waiting for someone else to...
But in a world of cartoons filled with violence, shelves filled with villians and superheroes, and potent political propaganda passing from parent to child, it is not easy! Hopefully though, as parents, "We will prevail..." and the future will hold a little less sadness and a little more sunshine.

6 comments:

Lauren said...

I loved what you said here. You worded it all masterfully.

Thank you.

It has been on my mind down here in Georgia.

Elizabeth said...

I think you are doing a wonderful job at teaching your boys those important attributes. They are wonderful!

Jack said...

I love you babe. I hate that a part of your childhood seems tarnished now. Your words bring tears but also bring strength.

Brittany & John said...

GO HOKIES!!!!

summer said...

I love you sister and i love you boys. today has seriously been one of the hardest days of my life. dad called me this morning at 8am and put his phone on speaker so i could listen to the commencement ceremony that was held on campus. i cried for almost 4 hours. i couldn't and still can't put myself together enough to be able to go out of the house...or for even that matter my room. i think about you all every day and i can't wait to see you all. i guess its really true that you don't know what you really have until you don't have it anymore. i ask that you keep austin in your prayers tonight and know that i love each of you all sooooo much.
Aunt S

Jenny said...

I hope you and Jack have 50 kids, all boys...we need more men in the world just like the ones you are raising your boys to be.