Monday, July 23, 2012

The Mother

This past weekend was a sad one here.  With a number of Americans as volunteers, and a high-school aged American group on site, the news of the Colorado shootings affected a lot of people emotionally.
This weekend also marked the anniversary of a huge massacre that happen in Norway exactly a year ago, killing 77 people - most of which were teenagers at a youth camp.  That story is far from over, with a trial that is still going on, and a number of people wondering how there can be any sort of justice for something so devastating and calculated.

I'm pretty speechless.
I'm the type of person that will continuously play what I imagine the scene to be in my head over and over again - on repeat.  Then, I'm the type of person to take it one step further and plug my own children, or people I love into the scenario - as victims.
It doesn't make for healthy sleeping or eating habits.
So that's how my weekend started when I first heard the news about the movie theater shooting in Aurora.
Then my mind went somewhere else - somewhere it's never gone before.  To their parents.  To the victim's parents.  The parents who let their kids go to the late movie "just this once" on a week night as a special treat, or reward for good behavior.  Or the parents that knew their children, old and young, were going to see that movie, but had no idea what time and at what theater.

Then it got weird.
Because I started thinking about his mom.
When you're raising kids you worry all their lives for things that you can't control.  You worry about their safety.  You worry that they will get into a car accident, or that they will become a victim to bullying.  You worry that they could get kidnapped or raped.  You worry that a perfectly sound building could someday just give out while they're in it.  You worry that they'll end up on Girls Gone Wild, or that they'll someday discovery drugs.  You worry that they'll get hit by a drunk driver on New Year's Ever or that they'll make one terrible decision that could leave them injured, without working legs, or God-forbid, dead. Or you'll worry that one night they will go to the movie theater and never come out.
As a parent, you worry.
But it never occurs to you to worry that someday your son or daughter could create such terror and devastation in the lives of so many people within a matter of a few hours/minutes/seconds.
When you're watching them take their first steps and laugh at your funny faces, your dreams never go there.
How do a mother and father cope with something like this?
How will they ever heal or find happiness again?
It's easy to ask this about the parents that lost their children that night.  That goes without saying.
But how do you heal/cope/find happiness when you maybe feel like you've failed in the most devastating way possible?  When an entire nation/world is wondering what you're going to do, or worse - what you've already done?