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When news of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., shot across my desktop, I was floored. Another senseless act of violence has befallen our nation.
When the death toll climbed, I saw it on a television at an eatery. I excused myself from the table of a dozen co-workers and sobbed in the ladies room.
I hadn’t seen a photo of anyone of them, but somehow they all looked like my children in my mind’s eye.
“Why them?” I silently screamed in between sobs.
I imagined each one of them excited for Christmas and the break from school. I imagined all the things they were hopeful for, and all the wonderful potential they each held.
My heart broke into a million pieces. I desperately wanted to abandon my work function and rush to my own children’s sides. My mind raced to find a way to fix this. That’s what moms do.
Sure to follow all of our outrage and distress is a time of togetherness and commitment to one another. Then we will begin to question how this tragedy happened, and how we can prevent it from happening again.
That always happens after a tragedy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last long.
We as a society have it all wrong. The time for our commitment, prayers, determination, and community is not in the face of tragedy. It’s every day.
We should rally around our neighbors, friends, family, and community every day. We should be helping one another and looking out for one another every day.
That is how we prevent these tragedies. We come together – all of us, and we help those in the deepest of despair. We make the difficult decisions when our loved ones need help. We support each other with a gentle hand and the brutal truth.
We can question the motives of the perpetrator, and we can discuss gun laws and school safety. But those discussions will lead nowhere until we truly come together and start acting like a community not only in a crisis, but in the absence of one.
Cat Koehler is married with two children. She works full time. Read her Mondays on momaha.com
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