Where Do Little Dreams Go?

I haven’t cried in a while. But today, every time I passed a TV in the office showing coverage of the shootings at that elementary school in Newtown, CT, I nearly burst into tears.

It’s days like today, that force me to believe in heaven. There is no other way. There is no other way to cope with this. There is no other way to handle hearing about twenty 5-year-olds being taken from this earth. There is no other end but a paradise, that would be fitting for those innocent children who died today.

A lot of people will call this day’s events a terrible tragedy. I don’t feel like the word tragedy comes close to capturing how bad this was. How bad this is. How bad this will be. For everyone in that town. For everyone even remotely close to that place.

I almost didn’t write about this. I didn’t know if I could. My kids are almost the same age. My wife and I always contemplate moving out to the suburbs. It’s too close to home.

But my mind keeps racing. It’s been like that all day.

I keep thinking about seemingly stupid things like those kids’ Christmas lists, and their favorite toys. I keep thinking about their favorite books. And their favorite foods. And how their parents would open their cupboards in a week, when they could maybe think about eating again, and see boxes of Mac & Cheese or Pirates’ Booty, and how that would make them break down one more time. How that would stop them from eating another day. I keep thinking about things like nightmares, and the near nightly practice of my kids crawling into bed with us at some ungodly hour. And how annoyed that makes me sometimes because it interrupts my sleep. And how annoyed some of those parents must have been with their kids over the last twenty four hours, for completely random things. For things that seem ridiculous now. And how those parents would beat themselves up for feeling that way.

I keep thinking about huge hugs. Giant wrap-their-legs-around-you hugs. About how my daughter basically just learned how to pucker her lips for a kiss. And how many of those kids probably just learned to snap their fingers. Or learned how to whistle. And I keep thinking about big hands holding little hands. I keep thinking about my son’s space backpack and my daughter’s blankie, that almost never leave their side.

I keep wondering what happens to the little dreams, that were in the little hearts, in those little bodies, that are no longer living on this earth. Where do those dreams go? I don’t want to let them just go away. I keep wondering what happens to the holes that are created from those kids’ absence in the future world.

I keep thinking about my siblings. And my nieces and nephews. And how much I want to protect all of them, with everything I have. I keep thinking about all the innocent people all over this world.

I keep thinking about my hard week of work. And how anything that frustrated me this week has no bearing on anything. It all means nothing. It means less than nothing.

I came home tonight and blasted music that my kids like. And I sang and danced, loud and big. I was kind of forcing it. Kind of faking it. But my kids started to do the same. And then I didn’t need to fake it anymore. These two are the lights of my life. And then I laughed, and then I teared up. I just can’t imagine…I don’t want to imagine.

I went through a lot personally last year. But my kids were healthy. My wife was healthy. I was healthy. It’s incomparable to what the world has gone through this year. A lot of really bad things. Seemingly right in a row. Maybe that’s just from my narrow view. Maybe the world always goes through this, but just not as close to home for me. But this just seems like too much.

For what it’s worth, I would much rather repeat my trying year a hundred times over, than the world go through more times like these.

My wish for you and my wish for the world is for more triumph and less tragedy in 2013.

My head and heart are with the people in and connected to Newtown, CT.