Saturday, April 23, 2011

A decade plus two

- 2010 -

Casey and I made the trip to Littleton this weekend to visit the Columbine memorial. 

I have to admit that I love the memorial.  It is at once impossibly difficult and amazingly healing.  I'm not sure how those two go together, but that is always the experience for me.  I get a little anxious right before I visit, because I never quite know how much it will affect me.

It is funny how things change.  Until last year, I empathized entirely with everything written from the students' perspective.  Now, when I walk through the memorial, the words that strike me are the ones written by the parents and the staff.  When I read those words, they affect me in a whole new way. 

I wish I could go back and apologize to my mother.  To be kinder, gentler.  More understanding and empathetic.  She was so traumatized by what happened to me, and it was such a difficult thing to have to deal with her trauma, when she didn't understand because she hadn't been there. 

If only I had known how much easier it is to have the firing squad aimed at you, rather than your baby.  If I could have understood how many times over a parent would take the pain on themselves and off of their child.  But I didn't understand that yet.  I didn't know that I would face a world of Columbines and smile, rather than risk my own daughter. 

Our own lives simply aren't worth very much when we become parents. 

And I have to say... technology is a wonderful thing.  I am so fortunate to be connected to some wonderful, caring, supportive people.  Facebook was absolutely transformed into a sea of purple and white Columbines for the anniversary.  It was amazing.  And humbling.  And inspiring. 

It reminded me of the very, very much good that has come out of the past 12 years. 
- 2011 -

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