There was a big thing I left out of my last rant, and I didn't want to just edit it in, so I'm writing it as a new post. Perhaps that's for the best - it certainly deserves a post all its own.
Rhetorical question: Did they celebrate Christmas in Newtown, Connecticut this year?
Many families experience loss around the Holiday Season™. Many don't, but find it difficult all the same. The holidays just don't seem as they should be when your beloved dog isn't at the end of the dinner table, begging for goodies. They don't feel right when the person who sat in that particular chair isn't around anymore. It's strange when you realize you don't have to speak quite so loudly anymore because your hard-of-hearing grandparent is no longer sitting in the living room.
But none of that can possibly compare to the agony of the families in Newtown this year. The Sandy Hook shooting was a mere eleven days before Christmas...day six of Hanukkah...seven days before the Winter Solstice.
In this season of gift-giving, many (most?) of those families had gifts waiting for those kids. They were anticipating making new family memories - like one victim's family got their daughter cowboy boots since she wanted a horse. What do you do with a new pair of cowboy boots when the intended recipient is no longer around to wear them?
It seemed like the world stopped for a lot of people on December 14th. Everyone was shocked and horrified - parents teachers, and other child educators and caregivers especially. But life went on for most of us. Newtown is drowning in memorials and they're planning a permanent memorial, but for most of us, life went on...lighting candles, wrapping (and unwrapping) gifts, baking, eating, hugging.
I suppose you could say this is true every year. There's always a war somewhere in the world...this year, the dubious honor falls on Syria. Crime doesn't stop when the Holiday Season™starts. But I think you'll forgive me if I take a moment to ponder how it is that life seems to revert to normal so quickly, even in the midst of tragedy.