A child's absence
Last December, as the Newtown story was unfolding, I called my husband to see if he had heard… and as he as answered the phone, I just started tearing up. I could barely get my words out. Even now, I sometimes find it difficult to talk about it. Was it because there were so many young children? That the shootings were so senseless and random? That I could far too easily picture my own children’s faces among the Sandy Hook first graders?
Perhaps it was because all through the fall last year, I was dealing with sending my daughter off to college for the first time. She left a hole in our home that has been big and deep and hard to fill. If I was struggling with my child’s absence merely from the fact that she has spread her wings but who will fly home eventually, then how much more unbearable the absence for the Newtown families, whose loss was sudden, without purpose and forever?
The idea was devastating.
I took the Sandy Hook shootings very personally, and I know I am not alone. For millions of moms and families across the United States, Newtown has affected us profoundly and intimately. It woke us up to the terrible toll gun violence has taken and continues to take on our families and communities every day and we feel an urgency that we must do everything possible to prevent anything like Newtown from happening again, including common-sense solutions like universal background checks to keep guns out of irresponsible hands, and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Moms and families need to convey to lawmakers from the bottom of our hearts that enough is enough, that we demand action now to reduce gun violence. We know what to do. The road ahead is clear. We ask our leaders to make sure we go down that road.