Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Aftermath

20 children arrive at a rather large gate. The gate is flanked with mist, some foliage, and there are many creatures and some other people wandering nearby. The children cannot see past the gate. Many of the children are very confused, some seem lost, many of them are crying, some of them are silent and a few appear stunned. The children do not understand where they are or what happened to them.

The many tears and cries of those children do not go unnoticed. A comforting-sounding voice at the gate began to speak to the children. "Please step forward and come in. We have been waiting for you."

The children, huddled together in the form of a tight-knit herd, do not move. Many of them begin to say they are scared, "that the man with the gun might be in there," they want to be with their mom and dad.

There is a momentary pause. The voice replies, "You are safe now, and your parents will join you here someday, just not today."The children are silent, unsure as to what to do next or who they can trust. They watch as many animals and people walk past and disappear beyond the gates. Time passes, the children seem unable to move forward.

A familiar-looking woman appears and makes her way to the gate. At the mists' edge, the woman pauses, sensing a familiar presence. She turns, and sees the group of children. Dropping to her knee, she faced the children. She gazed and smiles reassuringly at each child, and spoke softly, "It's ok now, let's line up, single-file, and then follow me, just like we do at recess each day, got it?"

Slowly, the children line up in a single line, as they had done each day for many months. The girl at the front of the line began to smile for the first time in as long as she can remember; she turns her head and speaks to the boy behind her, "It's ok now, that's our Principal. She'll stay with us until our parents get here to pick us up, just like she does on rainy days when we wait in front of the school."

They begin to walk as a group, some of the kids fidgeting; others begin to skip and poke each other and giggle, slowly disappearing into the light on the other side of the gate. Decades pass; gradually, one by one, parents, brothers and sisters, and pets all joined the children in the light. The reunion of each child and loved one was the same: an embrace that equaled and counter-balanced the grief of a very dark day, very long ago.

And as with each previous reunion, the principal stood nearby to ensure the last child left with their parents. Weary and relieved, the school Principal turned and finally ventured forth to reunite with her own family, who had been waiting patiently for her; for her loved ones knew she always stayed with the students until they were all safely on their way home. The light beyond the gate began to glow as bright as it ever had been, illuminating the mist, basking those who were beyond the gate in an unparalleled warmth.

(Dedicated to all of the teachers, school support staff, and para-educators everywhere. Thank you for taking care of and watching over our children. We need to make our society safe for everyone.)

**This was written by Paul Morrison, my husband Jim found this on Craigslist and showed it to me, and I thought this was very nicely written. I have asked Paul for his permission to post this as I feel this should be read by all for comfort and peace after the devastating tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. This really touches me because I have always wanted to be a teacher or a para-educator, but life has led me down a different path. I wish peace and healing for all the families and those involved. Thank you Paul!** 

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Thanks!

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