Little Man-Tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary

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I remember him coming home on the first day of school

Red shirt, bright yellow shorts, and light up Lightning McQueen sneakers

Running as fast as his little legs could carry him

Arms flailing like a madman

Little Man how was your first day?

Winking, he replied

It was GREAT I shared my goldfish with Susie!

Chuckling softly, I follow him inside

 

SISSY I GOT MY WISH LIST READY FOR SANTY CLAUSE

Little Man barges into my room and hands me a long list with items carefully written in green crayon

CAN YOU MAIL THIS TO SANTY FOR ME SISSY?

I scoop him into my lap and pull out an envelope

Envelope first, Little Man, you want Santy to know you’re serious about this list of yours

 

That was only yesterday

I never thought I would have to know the horror of seeing my mother hunched over his lifeless little body

Tears streaming down her face, her whole body, trembling

I tried to keep it together

Only yesterday he was giggling like the little boy that he was, writing letters to Santy Clause

And now?

He’s……

 

I let the tears come, but none appear

Instead is anger and frustration

Why, God, WHY?

If I shut my eyes and pretend it didn't happen

I’ll only reopen my eyes to see my mother, hunched over my little brother’s body, crying until she has no tears left

 

This Christmas won’t be the same

There won’t be anticipation lingering in the air as we wait to go to midnight mass

There won’t be kissing under the mistletoe

There won’t be the traditional first snowball fight with the neighbors

 

Instead there will be his room to pack up in boxes that will have been his life

There will be arrangements and phone calls to cemeteries

There will be funerals to go to and black dresses to be worn

On Christmas morning, Little Man won’t be there to wake me up at the crack of dawn nagging me to get up and open presents

 

Little Man, watch over us

I know you’re up there already

You probably raced your classmates up the stairs of Heaven

I hope you weren’t afraid when he shot

But I can’t blame you if you were afraid

I would have been afraid

Little Man, be peaceful

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