Monday, December 17, 2012

The Hands of Time

I have no idea how the parents and the families of Newtown, Connecticut shall bounce back from the murder of the innocents that was perpetrated in their midst on Friday morning.  The things that many of us - and so no one ever mistakes the 'us' of whom I am speaking Public Offender #1 - take for granted in our day-to-day were exposed again on Friday for the trivial bullshit they truly are. 
Christmas season will never be the same for the families whose innocents - and innocence - were taken from them violently on Friday morning.  The fear that stalks every one of us who is a parent is that we shall outlive our children.  No parent wants to ever have to do that.  And yet thanks to one person's treatment of the lives of others as disposable, twenty such services shall be held this week in bucolic, rural Connecticut at which the person being buried is not older than the age of seven.   I have no idea as a parent how you come back from such an occurrence. 
I sat Saturday evening in front of my television and watched an exceptionally brave young man named Robbie Parker.  One day earlier Parker - who appeared about ten years younger than his stated age of 30 - woke up the father of three little girls.  The oldest among them was his oldest Emilie, age six.   He described her as being always willing to try new things - except food - including new languages.  Their final conversation on Friday morning included Portugese.   He called his little girl his hero and told all assembled how lucky he was to have been her father.  His grace and composure against a backdrop of incalcuable grief was nothing short of remarkable....and heartbreaking.
Sunday afternoon - home by myself as I was - I found my eyes drawn to one of the few Christmas decorations that we have up in our kitchen.  It is something that Rob made a lifetime ago.   He signed and dated his artwork at the time he made it - way back when in 1990. 

Twenty-two Christmases ago.  When he was not quite five. 

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