On 12.14.12 you turned two years old. The day started sad enough. We drove into eastern Kansas to a tiny little church and a tiny little cemetery to attend the first funeral you would attend-- your great-grandma Pederson. Your aunt Tay, uncle Matt and I unplugged ourselves from our social media outlets and from our phones to honor your great grandma Pederson's wonderful life. She was an 80 year old retired teacher but there was scarcely a place to sit in the church as she has touched so many lives.
You were unaware of what was happening. We didn't go to the internment, I took you downstairs to play in the church nursery while the burial occurred. You thought the dessert table at the dinner following the funeral was "happy day cake" for you.
On our way home your aunt Maddy called uncle Matt. She was crying. She told us all what happened at an elementary school in Connecticut.
It was your birthday.
I was sad that I had to take you to a funeral.
How selfish of me.
In the days since first hearing of the tragedy I realize so painfully that you are not guaranteed to me. You are no more able to be possessed by me than a sunrise. I am so powerless.
I was able to protect you on your birthday. I will not always protect you, because I cannot.
But I intend to tell you everything I can, while I can. So many things went viral, quotes, anger, rage, blame and sadness. The one thing that went viral that I love is the quote by Fred Rogers.
Mr. Rogers was a show I loved when I was a little girl (just like you love Elmo & Abby Cadabby now).
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world.” — Mr. Rogers
I want to teach you that. To look for the helpers. To be kind, even in the face of evil and fear.
The day of your birth was still joyous, in spite of this. Because you were here on earth and that has never been, nor will ever be a guarantee.
Love you to the moon & back,
title courtesy of lyrics from Eric Clapton's Change the World