I cannot sleep. I have spent nights poring over the Florida school shooting stories. I am not okay.
I dropped Darcy off at school on February 15th and thought to myself, ‘what if this is it? What if someone decides today that they want to enter her school and shoot a bunch of innocent children and educators?’
I’ve had these thoughts before. Mostly when Darcy was in kindergarten and her classroom was on the first floor of the school. I remember thinking to myself that it was a good thing that she was in the second classroom in that hallway, farther away from the front door. I guess in my mind it gave her more time to escape. She entered kindergarten less than a year after Sandy Hook. An exit strategy shouldn’t be what you think about for your kindergarteners classroom.
Then Benny died and this anxiety grew. At the time we were clinging to Darcy as our port in the storm, what if something happened to her as well? Last week brought that all flooding back. I am terriffied. I am sad. I am sick.
Seventeen more families feel our pain. They have lost a part of their hearts in such a senseless manner. I know what they are going through and I am so sorry for their pain. I am sorry for what lies ahead. I am sorry for how this will shape the rest of their lives. A loss like this irrevocably changes you.
I am scared to send my daughter to school. I get it that this is terrorism at it’s finest and that I shouldn’t be scared. But I am. I’ve already held one of my children and had to say goodbye for the last time. I sat in the hospital and stroked his hair, smelled his sweet smell, kissed his head and handed his lifeless body over.
I have spent the last 4 years clawing my way out of PTSD and anxiety and trying my hardest to help my daughter and my husband do the same. This is the future that these families face. This is the future that these surviving children who were in that school face. You cannot witness a trauma like that and go on living your life. It alters you in ways you can never imagine.
I am furious. Disgustingly furious that this happened, that this continues to happen. That more parents have to live through the loss of a child. And still nothing changes.
I am repulsed that we ask our educators to work under these conditions. There are over 30 children in my daughter’s class this year. Thirty. How can a teacher and an aid be expected to hide 30 kids? Why should they be?
This is not a political issue to me, but rather a moral issue. Until you have stood where I have stood, until you have walked in my shoes, please do not lecture me on politics. I am coming from a place of loss and I feel very strongly that what took place in Florida, Sandy Hook, Columbine, what is taking place in this country, is something that can be prevented.
I want to be able to send my child to school and not be scared that it will be the last time that I see her. I don’t want to be this mother that is constantly on the edge of her seat, filled with anxiety and dread that she will lose another child.
I am sick for Florida. I am tired of the excuses. We should not live in a country where we send our children to school to die. Change needs to happen.