I need to talk about something else. I need to think about something else. And then, talking and thinking about something else seems selfish when there are others who are living it.
Yesterday morning was a hurried, rainy day drop off at school. I gave hugs and kisses from inside the car and shooed them off to the dry cafeteria where they meet on rainy mornings. I cried when I left. My friend Amy texted late in the day to say that the kids all seemed blissfully unaware during her time volunteering in the classroom, and I finally exhaled.
Today was a “regular” day. One where I hang out with them on the playground and walk them to their classes. And as I rounded the corner to leave I saw the police car parked in front of the office, and the officer standing guard on the sidewalk. I instantly teared up, and as I walked by him I could barely get out, “thank you for being here.”
I’m not going to use my blog as a space to air or discuss my political views on where we go or what we do from here. I refuse. I will participate in the larger discourse, I just don’t feel right engaging in it in this space. I will take the same challenge Mel did, from Dyke in the Heart of Texas – to remember at least one name of a victim, so that the killer’s name is not what I will remember.
This is Avielle Richman. She had curly brown hair and loved horses and swimming. And when I see her I see my daughter. I will remember Avielle. I will remember her when I kiss my kids at drop off, and when I tuck them in at night. I will remember Avielle as the face of Sandy Hook. When someone talks of Adam Lanza, I will whisper Avielle’s name twice, because her name should be associated with Sandy Hook rather than his.
In President Obama’s speech in Sandy Hook, he said:
God has called them all home. For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on, and make our country worthy of their memory.
Worthy of their memory. There is much work to do here. And I think we start by never forgetting. By always bringing with us the memory of how we feel about that heinous day. No matter how passionately we argue about the politics, we cannot forget that there are faces behind the statistics.
Avielle. May we always be worthy of your memory.