So, there I am sitting in a surgical center waiting room in Connecticut at 10 AM this morning and people start to gather around the huge flat screen TV with some crying but all looking shocked.
The word at that time was that four little kids had been shot in an elementary school in Newtown, a town not that far from where we are waiting for our loved ones to emerge from life enhancing surgery.
A woman is crying and saying in shocked tones that her daughter teaches in that district and she is scared that is her school on the news.
The shooting is surreal. It's early in the morning on a sunny cool day with a clear cobalt sky. No one shoots up an elementary school then. Do they?
I found the same shock and disbelief at the CVS when I got my daughter's
post-op medicine filled. One of the pharmacists was just getting the news on the
phone and kept repeating "are you sure it is Newtown CONNECTICUT?"
I recognize the shock, the trauma. It's so much like we felt on 9-11 in Central New Jersey and everywhere else. A momentary feeling of solidarity with everyone you met and talked to but unspeakable horror at the events that took place.
I'm in a slightly different position, of course. I have my own traumatic stuff here with my daughter in big-time post-op surgical pain and me feeling helpless about it. But I also feel the nausea of the senseless killings.
My mind keeps hearing the music of Pete Seeger singing "when will we ever learn?" And my heart says that it has heard that song way too many times
Judy Shepps Battle is a New Jersey resident, addictions specialist,
consultant and freelance writer. Her weekly column "It Takes a Village" appeared
in the South Brunswick Patch for a year. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information on this and other topics can be found at her website at http://www.writeaction.com/.
Copyright 2012 Judy Shepps Battle