Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Children Belong to Us All

I had a light, humerus story to share with you today.  It had been bouncing around in my head all weekend just waiting for some free time to write it down.  I don't remember what it was anymore.  Two generations ago my ancestors made a decision to move west, toward the sunshine and ocean breezes of Southern California.  What they left behind was a farming community in a land locked State of Oklahoma.  This isn't to say, somehow, that I'm tied to that community through ancient neighborhood ties or that some how I'm suffering as heavy as they are from the loss of people I have no real ties to.  I'm not looking for condolences.  I'm simply pointing out the "what if's".  More heart wrenching, however, is the "what if's" when you look at the pile of rubble that once was a school.  A mud coated, blood soaked, crying child is everyone's.  There's no identity there - and we quickly impose our own.  We see our own child's school, our own daughter's broken bike, our own son's missing shoe.  Our hearts cry out over the grief of parents we've never met but can so easily relate to.  Their agony we feel so easily at the mere thought of it being us in their stead.  We switched over from the news a while later and watched a movie that Gina rented: the Impossible.  Though it's been years since that wave devastated South East Asia, though once again I feel myself connected.  My father was a survivor, one of the few actually in the water at the time who lived.  He was scuba diving in Phuket when he suddenly found himself in a tree a mile or so inland.  He survived with heavy damage to his leg, but he survived none the less.  His fiance did not.  So I was already watching this movie with weighted heart when the story of a young family unfolded and I watched as their three school aged sons - and the countless other children - experienced the horrifying power of mother nature.  Once again I place my children in their spot.  Imagine the horror of a parent dealing with the loss, the unknown, the fragile heart of parenthood as it is shattered by uncontrollable, incomprehensible nature.  As I closed up the house that night, locked the doors, tucked in their safe and warm, sleeping little bodies, I crouched on the floor for a moment to thank Karma for her nightly bedside vigilance, and I thanked a god I haven't spoken to for some time that I've not had to deal with the reality of such heart ache.  To feel even an ounce of that weight through this bond of parenting is more then can fathom.  Though it offers them no real condolences as they deal with their losses, I hope they know we see them all as our own children.  We grieve with them.  We cry for them.  We pray, even those of us that haven't in a while, for their souls.  Because the children, they belong to us all.

No comments:

Post a Comment