Day of Sadness

I spent the morning at City Light, the local shelter for women in children here in Boise. Small rooms lined the facility, but they were rooms of comfort and hope, safety for these women and their kids in times of hardship.

How sad I was to come home and see the news that children in another part of the country were denied that safety today.

As a mother, my heart aches. I send my four year old off to school every day, never doubting that he will be kept safe. Those parents, too, sent their kids to school with the same assumption, believed they would be coming home today. I cry for their losses.

I was fifteen when Columbine occurred. I don’t remember mass shootings before that time. If they did happen, I was too young to know. In the past fifteen years, however, I can name a list of mass shootings: schools, political rallies, movie theaters, universities. The question is always the same: why?

Why, in a world that I believe to be good, would someone open fire on a group of people… a group of children? What could be so horrible in that person’s life that murdering twenty children is the answer?

I just spent over an hour in a facility that houses nearly one hundred homeless women. Fifty eight of them sleep in beds a few feet from one another. And they still have hope. They still believe in the goodness of humanity. What could be so horrible to justify such a horrific act?

I don’t know the answer to those questions, though I know the media will ask them for days and weeks to come.

I do know that I believe the world is still a good place. Maybe I am overly idealistic, but I believe that even on a day like today with such unbelievable violence, there are people across our country engaging in simple acts of kindness that have the potential to change lives.

I will mourn for all of those who lost their lives today. I will hug my children tightly tonight and cherish the moments I have with them in my life. I will also go out into the world, open my heart, and extend kindness in hopes that the small deeds help change the world and create a space where violence is no longer welcome.

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