It’s a precious thing, life, isn’t it? Hm. Yes.
Upon hearing the news about the Newtown, Conn. school shooting yesterday, I froze. Chills caused me to climb into my bed and slip under the covers. A bunch of my friends were tweeting–or rather, asking–why someone would shoot and kill innocent people…children.
I reclined in my bed and tapped my thumbs away at my phone trying to read more about what happened. Twenty children who attended Sandy Hook Elementary School were shot and killed yesterday, as were another six adults, and another away from the scene.
Their lives were stolen by a shooter who proceeded to take his own life as well.
The names of the victims were released today, and the 20 students were all either 6 or 7-years-old.
I think about my 6-year-old nieces who are so dear to my heart and how much my family cherishes their songs and laughs, hugs and kisses, phone calls and FaceTime sessions–how much we cherish our lives with them. I think about their little brothers and sister, who bring so much joy to my home when they visit, that every time I turn the key to unlock the door, I hear their footsteps scurry to come and greet me.
I think about my grandmother, whose life I cherish in another way. Her unwavering devotion to God and her deliberate holding back of her tongue really inspires me, though I don’t often dwell on it. I may ask her what the extra prayers she’s performing are for, and her speech at that moment will deliver only as much as I’ll need to hear. She’ll allow her smile to shine, perhaps because she has been asked to share her wisdom or maybe because she enjoys a simple conversation with her granddaughter.
I think about the newest addition to my family, my brother and sister-in-law’s baby girl, less than a week old. I wake up to a photo of her almost every morning now. Each one transforms the words coming out of my mouth to baby talk, though I’m merely admiring a picture of her on my phone, which quite frankly, doesn’t look that different from yesterday morning’s picture. And yet, I love looking at each photo, picking out how cute her mouth looks in this one, or her index finger in that one, or her chin in the other one, Masha’Allah.
Then my thoughts inevitably go back to the lost lives from Friday morning. I think about the pain that aches the bodies of surviving loved ones and the tears that wet community members’ eyelashes, but I also think about the incredible bond of Newtown, which undoubtedly has been strengthened from this tragedy. I think about the hope and comfort one hug can bring to two grieving people, the courage that can form from grasping someone’s hand.
I guess with this post I’m reminding myself and everyone else to say Alhamdulillah each day for all that you have in your precious life, and always keep those who are going through hardships in your prayers.
“So verily, with every difficulty, there is relief. Verily, with every difficulty, there is relief.” (Qur’an 94:5-6)