At times my mind wanders off and then BAM, demands my attention. This morning I was walking in the beauty of a fall day thinking of illustrations for my next book for Destiny’s Children. All of a sudden my face was washed in tears prompted by fleeting thoughts of recently reported “tottlers” who have lost their lives or killed someone else with a gun.
So how did I get from a lovely brisk fall walk to the bottom of emotion’s soul? Somewhere in the 24/7 global media cycle, left over behind the headlines, this information sneaked back into my consciousness.
October 14, 2015, Christopher Ingraham wrote, “People are getting shot by toddlers on a weekly basis this year. I’ve found at least 43 instances this year of somebody being shot by a toddler 3 or younger. In 31 of those 43 cases, a toddler found a gun and shot himself or herself.”
Washington Post reporter Vernick said, “When children unintentionally shoot themselves or other people, media reports typically follow. A three-year-old boy is playing with a gun and shoots himself in the face. A four-year-old girl discovers a gun and shoots her four-year-old cousin, killing him. A three-year-old boy shoots himself in the head. A five-year-old accidentally shoots a three-year-old girl. A five-year-old boy accidentally shoots and kills himself. A four-year-old boy accidentally shoots himself. A two-year-old boy shoots and kills his 11-year-old sister. It goes on like this, story after story of unintentional shootings involving children that lead to injuries or deaths.” (Many unintentional shootings of children occur when they are with people of similar ages, Vernick said, though many also involve children by themselves.)
How does one grieve this? There are not enough tears.
Until I became a mother, I had no idea that tears had flavors. I tasted tears of love, joy, relief, hope, fear, sadness and loss. There were times when my tears were nothing more than a gasp for breath. I kept most of those private. I cannot imagine the tears shed for a life that ends after it has just begun.
So here’s the thing. We require prescriptions and house cleaning products to contain a warning label that says, “Keep out of the reach of children”. What have we missed that can keep our babies safe from guns?
This question begs an answer. Please join the conversation, comment and share.Until next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.