On Dec. 14, 2012, five adults and twenty children were killed inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Two weeks later, and giving it deep thought, I sat down and wrote the following poem.
I wrote it on Dec. 28 2012 at Brookgreen Gardens in memory of the children, but also tried to write it in such a way as to help with the healing process of the parents and families of the children. Last year I tried sending it out to some newspapers but it was never printed anywhere. I was informed by several that “it was too soon after the fact and might hurt the families more than help them.”
Now, a year later, I'm sending it out again to different newspapers.
They were so young, so innocent and had just begun to learn ...
.. . now I lay me down to sleep …
.. . ABC and 123 ...
They had dreams, sweet dreams of spending time
with their families and friends.
But their dreams were taken away on the day
that a stranger walked into their school.
They awoke later that day amongst angels
who led them to a beautiful place.
Though their families were not there,
they treasured the love which they carried in their hearts.
They will be remembered for their laughter
and curious questions. Sadness will be present
on birthdays and holidays.
The room where they slept and played
will not go away
just as thoughts of the children will never go away.
They will always be present in the lives
of those who loved them.
Each year, each season, they'll return to remind you
that they never left and will
always be with you.
You'll recognize them as the playful butterflies
in your gardens ...
as the warm wisps of air on a summer's evening ...
as the colorful late season
flowers of autumn
and as the tiny snowflakes in winter.
And though reminders of them may bring
tears to your eyes,
your hearts will smile
as your combined love for each other
will last forever.
The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.