I watch my gangly girls walk out the door, laughing and ribbing each other. Their hoodies make them indistinguishable from each other as I see them walk away. I swallow a curious lump as they make the bend and disappear from my vision. An hour later, I wave bye to my youngest, still pudgy with baby fat and hints of the girl she will one day be, peeping out from behind the babyness.
I watch her walk away, her sequined back pack bobbing up and down as she skips to the bus stop. My heart stops, I feel anxiety as she disappears from my eyes.
My inbox has an unread email from the school district with a subject that reads “Uvalde Tragedy”.
I have not slept last night. I close my eyes and visions of bullet ridden young bodies flash in front. My brain goes places because I want to put myself in those shoes. The teacher who died trying to protect her special needs children. The other teacher who also died trying to protect the children in her care. I imagine the horror, the futility of the situation, the panic, the screaming and the gunfire.
This is all that resounds in my head. I cannot wipe the images or the horror from where it has taken residence. The fear in my heart is real as is the impotence when I realize nothing will change in this country unless there is a renaissance of sorts.
I want to say I will move to a different country, but I know I won’t. I will diligently vote in every single election. I will fill my social media feed with my pleas for people around me to do the right thing. I will also struggle with the fact that nothing, nothing I do will matter unless every single family does the same.
Sandy Hook did not sway this nation. Uvalde is not going to. I am not even touching on the other mass shootings by domestic terrorists because if the gruesome slaughter of young children does nothing, other lives matter even lesser.
I imagine the kind of national uprising that followed the 9/11 attacks and wonder what will pierce the collective conscience for it to act and actually make a difference at the polls.
Today, I will post this online, struggle to get through my day and in days become numb again.