I love children. Easy. Making a child smile is one of my favorite things, and that has always come pretty easy, too.
I've learned through some recent counseling that because of the long and frequent absences of my husband and my shy nature in social circles, I poured my love and friendship into my kids, and they reciprocated. When they were smaller and more dependent upon me, the more-present adult in their lives, I was their confidant and they were mine. We shared our joys and tears and secrets and dreams and I taught and they listened and taught me back. They still do. I depended on them to fill a void, as I filled their minds and hearts and hopefully, fed their spirits.
I know I'm not the only parent who experiences this.
So I know that some of those parents in Newtown, Connecticut, didn't lose children. They lost best friends, they lost companions, they lost future hopes, secret-keepers, inside jokes, special handshakes, friends they knew inside and out. Their favorite people in the whole wide world.
I do believe they will see their children again, that their sons and daughters are in good, loving hands. But there is still loss of something so beautiful, so exquisite.
And that's why I mourn with those parents.
Today is my daughter's birthday. She would have been 16, had all gone as I'd hoped. It doesn't hurt so much. But I don't love her any less.