I want to react with the fear that I feel.
I want to watch endless streams of news; to see the images over and over, to scarf down new pieces of information — as if over exposure to the constantly scrolling ticker tape would calm my racing heart and stop the chant in my head : ” Please, God make it stop. It’s too much. It’s too terrifying. I can’t…”
I want to wallow with the hollow fear in my chest. Lend my eyes the tears they desperately desire, let them fall. Because I know that half a world away, a little boy is waiting for his mama to come home from dinner to tuck him in , and she isn’t coming. I want to weep over the husband who won’t return to his wife, the parents who unknowingly said good bye to their daughter for the last time, but I can’t- because there is a baby asleep on my shoulder, and my tears may wake him.
I want to rage against the horror of it. I can’t understand such evil. I want action: to make emergency plans with my husband, check our wills, stay inside, keep those I love within a five foot radius – always.
As if hypervigilance is the ancedote to insanity.
But I can’t.
Because four blue eyes look to me to be their calm. Because the four month old needs held. Because the almost four year old needs cuddled. Because the safety they know trumps the chaos of the moment.
So we agree, silently, my brown eyes to my husband’s blue, that right now- we are fine. That right now, fear and chaos and evil aren’t welcome in our house.
Mortality makes the mundane beautiful. We find solace in brushing teeth despite the tantrum. We find comfort in holding the baby as he falls to sleep. We find familiarity in the 4th reading of the bedtime story.
And we find God, both in the prayers before we sleep and in the steady rise and fall of our loved ones’ breath as they fall asleep, safe and protected.
And this is how we conquer.
We conquer by going on.
We conquer thru bedtime stories, morning routines, kisses good night; compassion in our hearts and love on our lips.