Sudden Appearance of a Monster at a Window

December 17, 2012

in Confessions

It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers then with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone. ~Rose Kennedy

I have been sitting at random intervals staring at this blank screen trying to put together thoughts, any thoughts, about the school shooting in Conneticut. I couldn't write because all I had were tears.

The entire scenario hit way to close to home for me. Twice my oldest has been ill and in the hospital. Twice I have had to face the thought that I might lose him. The first time he was sick he was four months old. I couldn't bear to see him in the hospital like that. I couldn't bear to see the IV in his arm, so frail in a hospital crib.

The second time he was ill he was four. He got bacterial meningitis. The doctor said if I had waited another day or two to bring him to the hospital, we would probably have lost him. We spent two and a half weeks in the hospital that time. I didn't want to leave his side. I just worked around the IV and feeding tubes to snuggle with my baby. I wasn't sure I would make it through that, but I did. I got to take my baby home.

There was also a time when I thought that I might be getting a call that The Daddy had snapped and killed a bunch of people. In his darkest episodes, it seemed a possibility. I didn't think it was a probability though. I always believed that there was enough of who he really was left inside, even when his mental illness seemed to have taken over everything, that he really wasn't capable. Thankfully, I was right. The Daddy has found out how to fight back and now has control over the illness instead of the illness having him.

The pain and ache I feel for these parents that won't get to take their babies home is almost unbearable. The pain I feel for the innocent family members of the shooter is unbearable. The images that flash through my mind of Christmas presents that will never be opened and beds that will never be slept in again horrifies me.

The one thing that keeps me on solid ground is knowing that God is still bigger than this. I have prayed for these families, the first responders, the teachers, the nation, all teachers, all children, all families. Prayer is one of the most powerful things we can do.

I know that no matter what words I put together, I can not adequately express the pain, emptiness, and horror that we have all been feeling. So I will leave you with a poem that touches on the frailty of civilized life. At any moment, it can disintegrate into unmitigated horror, as just happened.

Sudden Appearance of a Monster at a Window
by Lawrence Raab

Yes, his face really is so terrible
you cannot turn away. And only
that thin sheet of glass between you,
clouding with his breath.
Behind him: the dark scribbles of trees
in the orchard, where you walked alone
just an hour ago, after the storm had passed,
watching water drip from the gnarled branches,
stepping carefully over the sodden fruit.
At any moment he could put his fist
right through that window. And on your side:
you could grab hold of this
letter opener, or even now try
very slowly to slide the revolver
out of the drawer of the desk in front of you.
But none of this will happen. And not because
you feel sorry for him, or detect
in his scarred face some helplessness
that shows in your own as compassion.
You will never know what he wanted,
what he might have done, since
this thing, of its own accord, turns away.
And because yours is a life in which
such a monster cannot figure for long,
you compose yourself, and return
to your letter about the storm, how it bent
the apple trees so low they dragged
on the ground, ruining the harvest.



IASoupMama December 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

There will always be monsters, but love and joy are stronger than the deepest darkness.

Samantha Brinn Merel December 18, 2012 at 11:30 am

Great poem. It's so hard when we come face to face with how fragile life is, and how short our time here can be.

Kathleen December 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

It's amazing what we can pull through when we're doing it for our children.

Stacie @ Snaps and Bits December 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I am glad you baby was ok (twice!). Loved the poem.

Bee December 18, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I came across that Rose Kennedy quote somewhere else recently, and absolutely love it.

Christie December 18, 2012 at 10:22 pm

OH sweet baby. I can't imagine seeing them in the hospital. Glad it worked out.  I am giving prayer a lot of attention these days. Great poem.

Larks December 19, 2012 at 2:01 am

I love that poem so much.

Kristin December 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm

God IS bigger.  "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep."  I believe, in the end, turning to Him is all we can do.  Praying right alongside of you.  Thank you for your post and the poem.

Ginny Marie December 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm

I have been praying a lot this week! I haven't heard that quote from Rose Kennedy before. It's true.

Azara December 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I loved the quote and poem. So beautiful. And I'm glad your monsters turned away.

Jen December 20, 2012 at 8:22 am

The poem really cuts to the heart of things — so powerful. I'm glad your monsters are at bay.

Laura December 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I agree that prayer and love are our greatest powers that we possess as humans. So thankful that your baby is okay. It's definitely scary when we think of the "what ifs" because there are so many ways that life can go wrong. :( God bless.

Michelle Longo December 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Great poem. It's so hard to separate ourselves from tragedy sometimes and not identify.

Jack December 21, 2012 at 3:13 am

It must have been really hard to have your child hospitalized. I am glad he is ok and that your husband is too.

Shell December 21, 2012 at 9:14 am

God is still bigger than this- I need to try to focus on that.

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