He Crossed the Line

Yesterday, someone asked me if I was having a good weekend. I said yes, but that wasn’t entirely true.

I was sad. So sad, and I’m sure you know why. In fact, like many of you I spent most of Friday in various stages of sorrow and tears. How could this be? Who can explain what happened?

Sandy Hook Elementary: People gather at a makeshift memorial near the school following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 15, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. Read more: http://nation.time.com/2012/12/15/sandy-hook-shooting-the-names-of-the-dead/#ixzz2FNf8Bfc6 Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

And, how can life go on in the face of such tragedy?

In the early hours of Friday morning, I had written a post about commercials. This was before the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.  Many of you were kind enough to comment, and the comments trickled in throughout the weekend.

But, I found it very hard to respond to your comments, as suddenly a post about ads and soup seemed trivial and inconsequential. I couldn’t even bring myself to visit my blog. I just didn’t have it in me.

Another asked if I was ready for the holidays and I thought to myself, are you kidding? In light of this tragedy, how can I begin to answer that question?

And, then I thought of my own children, and how lucky I am that they’re okay. That I’ve been able to see them grow up. In a few days, my daughter will be home from school and I will be off from work so that I can spend time with her.  I’m lucky, too, because my son lives nearby and visits nearly every week.

I’ve had the chance to see them grow up and have them in my life.  But, there are parents in Newtown, Connecticut who were robbed of this.

There’s a six-year-old boy who lives across from me. He has a bright smile and I know he’s a good kid, for I’ve known him and his parents since he was an infant. Recently, he rang my doorbell and asked me for a job walking Henry. I was impressed with his desire to take responsibility and earn an income. So, now he walks my dog every once in a while, for which I pay him a few dollars. He came by this weekend, and I was reminded that he’s the same age as the children from Newtown.

On Saturday, I had plans to spend the day with my son and his girlfriend. We had planned this outing weeks ago, and a small part of me wanted to cancel in light of this tragedy. Yet I needed, to be with my children at this time and spending the day with them at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park proved to be just the thing.

Afterwards, we went out to dinner at a mall, crowded with holiday shoppers and of course, the parking lot was full. But there was something else: the parking lot was teeming with police, floodlights and police-lookout towers. It startled me at first, but I assumed they were there to protect from the many car thefts that occur in shopping mall parking lots this time of year. Then, on Sunday I learned that a man had fired 50 shots into the air, while in a shopping center parking lot at another mall in Southern California, and I wondered whether that incident was the cause for beefed up security at the mall we were visiting.  I can’t say for certain.

In my sorrow, I stayed away from this blog for two days, so I apologize for not replying to your comments sooner. But in the end, I know that life goes on, and life is beautiful and precious.

Why can’t we all value human life? Why did the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary have to happen? And, why oh why did the shooter cross the line and kill so many, including 20 beautiful children?

I’ve written an open letter to the shooter. You can find it on the Huffington Post site.  Please read it and then offer your comments there. Thank you, thank you. I don’t know what I’d do without you, my readers.

Here’s the beginning:

Dear Adam Lanza,

What happened? Where did we fail you?

I’m assuming something went horribly wrong in your life, leading you to this horrific day in December, smack in the middle of our holiday season.

Did it happen at home, with the breakup of your parents’ marriage? Was it in school or during soccer practice? Were you pushed to take music lessons at a young age?  Or did someone forget to wish you a Merry Christmas?

Perhaps it was something deeper, beyond our sphere of understanding, that troubled you?

Whatever it was, I’m trying to comprehend, and asking myself how it led you to take it out on the youngest among us. Our future, our children…

You can read the rest at the Huffington Post.