Sunday, December 16, 2012

A hug like never before.

"An entire kindergarten class is apparently unaccounted for."

This is the sentence I heard the newscaster say on the car radio as I was driving around running errands with my four-year-old and one-year-old in the back seat.  I heard this sentence as I was at stoplight at the intersection, waiting to turn left to go on to our street, directly across from my daughter's elementary school.  I looked at the clock.  It said 12:32.  I looked at the playground.  It was empty.  My daughter leaves recess to go to lunch at 12:30.  I just missed seeing her on the playground by two minutes.  She is a kindergartener.  

My daughter's bus finally pulled up to our driveway at 4:05 p.m.  I'd been waiting and staring out the front window since 3:45, anxiously awaiting for 4:00 when I go get my coat and wait outside to greet my little girl.  There she is - looking like a giant purple marshmallow in her snowpants, coat, boots and hat.  Grinning ear to ear because it's a Friday, she made a new friend today, and tomorrow she gets to sleep in and help daddy make pancakes and bacon for breakfast.  She has no idea what has happened.  She has no idea why her mom runs toward her even before she takes the last step off the bus, scoops all of her 55 pounds up in her arms and hugs her tighter than maybe ever before.   She hugs me back and tells me that she has a new library book in her backpack to read tonight.  I glance up at the busdriver and he gives a soft smile and knowing nod.  And we go back into our house and start our weekend.

20 little lives taken so early.  I can only imagine what they were doing - listening to their teacher read them a story, working on their daily math lesson, talking about the calendar.  Six brave lives of courageous teachers and staff taken too soon.  May God give comfort and peace to those families affected by the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.  I pray for you all.

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