I can't stop crying.
I can't stop thinking agonizing thoughts. I came home from work and went straight upstairs to see J. I ruffled his hair, gave him a kiss, and just looked at him. "What's that for?" he asked me. "Just because," I answered.
Because there are parents alone tonight, missing a child who is never going to come home from school. Because there are families missing a mom or dad or a wife or husband who is not coming home from work tonight. Because there are neighbors sitting in homes, not sure what to do to help each other, knowing the house across the street or the house next door is in agony tonight - missing a loved one taken away today. Abruptly. Cruelly.
Twenty-six funerals to get through. And so many other children whose lives are altered forever.
Those poor families.
Twenty-six people woke up this morning, had breakfast, brushed their teeth, got dressed, and headed off to school. A safe place, a place where they either teach or are taught.
No way of knowing it was the last time they would do this.
Twenty-six families watched loved ones put on hats and scarves and mittens. They kissed moms, and dads, and children good-bye.
Not knowing that life was never going to be the same for them again.
K was babysitting tonight. I had to text her and ask her, "Are you safe?"
Irrational, I know. But I needed to hear that she was safe. When she came home, we hugged and told each other, "I love you."
The pictures are horrifying. People collapsed against each other, sobbing and screaming. Face after face covered in tears.
But out of the horror comes remarkable stories. Heroic stories.
A teacher who told her kindergartners that she loved them. She thought they were going to be killed. And she didn't want gunfire to be the last thing they heard. She wanted them to hear someone telling them that they were loved.
That they were loved. Amidst all that was going on around her, she wanted them to know this. May God bless this young teacher.
A young boy, grabbing the hands of his friends, running out of the classroom, away from the shooter. Finding their way to the road where they were picked up and brought to safety.
A teacher grabbing a student and pulling him into her classroom, as bullets went by him in the hallway. And his thankful mom, teary and scared, so thankful for the woman who saved her son's life.
Yes, evil came to this town today. But evil does not triumph.
In the face of all this senseless horror, we must remember this - in all things, God prevails.
May God bless all the people of Newton, Connecticut and give them the strength they need to survive this terrible, horrible tragedy.
My prayers are with you.