Life is a precious gift from God
I had to stop watching the news about two days after the tragic school shooting in Connecticut.
Even though I didn’t know a single person involved in this horrible act, I caught myself crying as the news reports continued to roll in.
Watching the reels and photographs flashing across the television screen, I began to see my own children amidst the crowd. And it broke my heart.
My biggest fear in life would have to be something happening to my children. It sends chills down my spine to even think about it.
Seeing the aftermath of the school shooting put things in perspective for me. This could have happened anywhere.
I was preparing a cup of coffee Monday morning when our son James came into the kitchen with a look of confusion.
“They said a bad guy shot a window out and started shooting people,” he said.
Forgetting that the morning news was still being broadcasted, my husband Jason and I quickly turned the television off.
As if he had already forgot about it, James went into his room and began to play with his dinosaurs. He was completely clueless of the evil that exists in his otherwise perfect world. I only wish I could still protect him from the harsh realities of life like that in the future...if shutting it out was only a click away.
I have done a lot of thinking since first hearing about the awful news on that Friday morning.
I let James sneak into bed with us that first night. Normally, I take him back to his own bed. But that night, I let him snuggle against me. There was comfort in feeling his cold feet against my leg and his breath hitting my face.
The next morning, I usually drag my feet to our daughter Elsie’s room. When she wakes up, it’s time for baths, breakfasts, clothes, wipes, diapers, the whole nine yards.
But on Saturday, I spent a few extra minutes in her room. She was grinning from ear to ear when I walked in to her. I picked her up and talked to her. I walked around the room with her, pointing to things on the wall.
The coffee and biscuits were put on hold that morning. The morning chores were never done. Errands were never ran.
I spent that morning watching my children color in their coloring books at the living room coffee table.
I have given each of them hugs and kisses at random moments since last weekend. Not that I didn’t do it anyway, but I held on a little longer than normal.
Last week’s shooting leaves so many questions on the table. And I don’t know the answers to any of them.
I do know that it was a wake up call for me. You are not promised tomorrow, and you never know what will happen with the passing of each day.
But you can embrace every moment.
It is easy to get caught up with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Chores, bills and other worries tend to pile up and take control of you.
Perhaps I need to slow down a little more to enjoy this gift of life, to enjoy my family.
The dishes in the sink will get done eventually. The kitchen can be mopped later. And who has time to keep up with the Joneses.
Eat supper at the table instead. Run with your kids outside. Hold your husband’s hand in the car. Grab your kids and smother them with hugs and kisses for no reason. Let out a big laugh. Cry out all those bottled up feelings. Just enjoy life.
It is a precious gift that God has given us. And we should thank Him every day.