My car windows shook with screams this morning. Hot, animalistic, voice-frying screams. Fear, and grief, and anger–so much anger–boiled beyond the bounds of my body. Warm tears salted my lips. I felt the rage of a mother; a mother that cannot keep her child safe.
I cradled my toddler with aching fervor today, as we all did. I stroked her velvet cheeks and wept for the mothers that waited for hours before receiving the most hellish news a human can hear. I wrapped her ringlets around my finger and burned for the mothers that surveyed a heap of flesh to identify their baby.
How dare this world, this country, spin on in its pessimistic, finger-pointing, posturing, and blame-shuffling way today? How dare the markets open and the rush hours rush and the business go about its business and the school bells ring? Do they not hear the mothers roar? Do they not feel our hearts shatter?
Do they not hear the mothers roar? Do they not feel our hearts shatter?
In America, the show goes on. The mothers wept in Littleton, Colorado and nothing changed. In Blacksburg, Virginia, in Newton, Connecticut, in Parkland, Florida, in Uvalde, Texas. The candles were lit, the broadcasts turned somber, the politicians spouted…and then we let the dust settle over our children's graves. Were we loud enough?
My brain is cycling through the faces of the nineteen dead children: their shy smiles; softball uniforms; gap teeth; gravestones. My social media is an echo chamber of infographics, tweets, headlines, and theories. I cannot bear to watch the parents’ interviews.
I’ve often heard the phrase that motherhood is watching your heart walk around outside your body. How will I send my heart to school knowing she might not come home? How will the parents without a heart survive?
How will I send my heart to school knowing she might not come home?
My questions are endless and trembling with anger but I know we all wonder the same thing: How can we keep our hearts, our lives, our futures, our children safe? We’ve done nothing but bury body after body and philosophize. How can we face ourselves another time? How can we let this anger boil without cooking any solutions? We cannot turn off the flame. We cannot put nineteen more children in the earth and pretend there’s nothing to be done.
There is no perfect solution but there are many decent ones to try. And there is only one way to guarantee this happens again: to continue to do nothing. May we get louder, stay angry, guard our hearts with everything we have, and rage like a mother.
Written by Jessica Lopez. Jessica Lopez is a freelance writer, digital content creator, and mother. She has covered all lifestyle topics ranging from bridal to beauty for publications including Brides Magazine, Byrdie, THE/THIRTY, and more. Walking wide-eyed into motherhood has inspired her to connect with other parents through her writing and shared experience. You can follow more of her journey @Jessica.H.Lopez.
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