Sunrise to sunset: a beautiful, but tragic day

As I drove in to work this morning, I had the urge no less than about 20 times to stop the car and get out my camera to capture the sunrise. I was so captivated by it. The sun was this huge orange ball in the sky, slowly rising into obscurity behind a bank of clouds, only to slowly peek out again over them. For 30 minutes, I watched as it got higher and higher, hoping that when I (finally) got to a place where I could stop that it wouldn’t be too late to take the pictures I wanted.

This wasn’t the most stunning part of the sunrise, but it was still very pretty. The day started out with this beauty that fascinated me. I became obsessed with capturing that beauty, even if only a piece of it, to look back and remember.

It’s hard to believe that with such a beautiful start to the day it would just hours later turn to grief and heartache for the community of Newtown, Connecticut. The sun no doubt rose over Sandy Hook Elementary in similar brilliant fashion. But I’ll never understand what drove a young man to murder his mother, eight of her colleagues and 18 children. There is no doubt in my mind that he was a very troubled young man. 

This mass shooting - a horrendous tragedy - has had a profound effect on me. I’ve never cried before. I did today. I cried because my own little boy is in school and I know I would be devastated if he witnessed or was injured or even killed through similar circumstances.

All afternoon, I fought tears in my effort to maintain a professional front. All I wanted to do was go pick Brandon up from daycare and hold him close. Though I ended up working late, that’s exactly what I did. I gave him a big hug and then we just hung out together. 

He helped me smile again, despite the sadness of the day.

The best part of the day was bedtime. I lay in his bed snuggled with him where he told me he loves me very much. And I cried, because I love him so much too, but also because hearing those words out of my little guy’s mouth is one of the sweetest things I could ever receive. I can count on my hands how many times I’ve heard those three words pass his lips, but tonight he said it three times. 

It’s almost like he knew I needed to hear it. He let me snuggle with him and hug him close and tell him I love him back. And I stayed with him until he dropped off to sleep.

My heart aches for the parents and loved ones who won’t ever hear their children say they love them or get to hug and snuggle with them again. I hope and pray that they have beautiful memories to cherish. Most of all, I hope they find peace. The Sandy Hook children and faculty will not be forgotten.