So here I am, well into the process of my own personal fresh start, and by no means oblivious to the fact that my level of consistency is currently at a pretty stagnant negative. That's beside the point though, because the deep-thinking portion of my brain is working again as I prepare to close the book on one of the Watanabe family's few and far-between family holiday vacations.
Today was our final day of holiday celebration. My youngest cousin is currently four and with each farewell gesture between myself and the little rascals I call my family, my heart lurched in attempt to remain as close as possible for as long as possible. It's a relatively regular occurrence during such times, but this time it was magnified. I was rendered numb and completely speechless, a feeling I've known only a few times before.
Finally, hours upon hours later, it hit me: Sandy Hook--the most sickening and devastating incident this year and possibly in my lifetime thus far. Even a month later, my mind is unable to put aside the revulsion it feels toward the entire situation. Every time I hear a word that even remotely relates to the tragedy, my heart shatters and leaves me senseless. I simply am unable to absorb a single word spoken on the incident and my mind will never be able to wrap itself around the kind of evil involved in that kind of devastation. It's not that I can't or won't sympathize with the families, it's that I don't possess the capacity to accurately express just how much my heart breaks with and for them. The faces, the stories, the tears--I've never been more overwhelmed in my 18 years of existence. And now I get it. As I embraced my younger cousins, it sunk in that I have no way of telling when I'll see them again. I have missed and will continue to miss numerous triumphs and tribulations--birthdays, graduations...milestones that can never be relived. Milestones that a group of Connecticut families no longer have a hope of celebrating. And as easy as it is for me to sit here in this recliner and spew out lines about how God has a plan and everything will turn out well, I refuse to think, speak, or even type those words regarding the death of innocent children and their caretakers. I can't do it and I won't.
I take so much for granted on a daily basis, and it took the pain of these families for me to realize that everyone that walks in and out of my life is a blessing whether I want to believe it or not. And no matter how often I say that I can't wait to see my loves again, I have no guarantee of that.
If for nothing else, I encourage you to live each and every day in this new year with conviction and purpose for those whose potential will never come to be.