The Night I got the Call to Pray for the Barden Family, Patrick and I were living in a nice town called Pawling, NY.
We transferred up there for Pat’s job with Time Warner Cable. He was working in Queens at the time and I was wiring a weekly parenting piece for the Pawling News, their community paper. The morning of December 14, 2012 my girls and I were at our morning Mommy and me library class not knowing what was transpiring just 35 minutes away in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary school.
We left library class went home, I put the girls in their playroom walled by a baby gate set to protect them from climbing up the adjoining stairs that went up to the second floor of bedrooms. There were two sets of stairs in this house: one that led up from the foyer and the other from the mudroom and playroom. My thoughts were to keep my eyes on the girls while I made their lunch. The phone rang.
It was my brother calling from North Carolina to ask if me and the girls were okay and that there had been a school shooting at an elementary school not far from us. Oh Lord I said into the phone. We are fine. Tears began to well up inside of me and a fear I had never known entered my body.
A call in the early evening came from my boss who had taken over the paper. He said that one of the parents who works at the Pawling Elementary school had a young son at Sandy Hook. No word yet as of whether he was one of the children who had been killed. He wanted us to post on social media a plea for prayers for the Barden Family. I felt a chill come over me.
In my kitchen in Pawling, NY I prayed for the Barden Family that Daniel would be found and that he would be alive and safe. I prayed for the healing that all the families would need and I also prayed for the world that we would have to radically change our way of thinking if we want to be safe in our schools ever again.
We would find out hours later that Daniel did not make it out safe. Ever since that day to be honest, I have not stopped thinking of what happened at that school and every time my kids walk out of the door to take the bus and we say our I love You’s, I pray to GOD for their safety.
How has it come to this? Honestly, there are folks taking action but there must be more to enact radical change.
Our Faith is Important-our prayers are vital. Our Actions in everything we do in Life must stand up to accountability.
Last year I read Alissa Parker’s book An Unseen Angel. Alissa as you may have known lost her sweet daughter Emilie Parker at Sandy Hook. Alissa is the co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools, a non-profit which focus on helping communities make their schools safer. Having an emergency plan is vital to saving lives.
Her website is safeandsoundschools.org please visit it.
In the Notes in her book she lists scripture, although I am not a Mormon I found this scripture poignant due to the world’s most recent school shooting,
“mourn with those that mourn……” Book of Mormon, Mosiah 18:9
To the Barden Family you are never far from our thoughts and always in our prayers.