*This post also appears today on The Huffington Post.
The news this morning is almost too heartbreaking to take in. A midnight audience full of excited moviegoers, all set to watch the summer’s most anticipated blockbuster, tear gassed and massacred by 24-year-old James Holmes. At least 12 killed, at least 38 injured, one of whom is a 3-month-old infant.
As families pray for their loved ones and a nation mourns another senseless spree– my thoughts immediately went to wondering who this boy’s mother is. ABC News found her already, and she told reporters:
“You have the right person,” she said, apparently speaking on gut instinct. “I need to call the police… I need to fly out to Colorado.”
This mother– and our country– will most likely get at least some answers. It’s rare that the person responsible walks away at the end, as has happened here. But as the president just said, “we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this.”
I’m reminded of another Colorado tragedy, and of one of the mothers left behind who will never understand. Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold’s mother, Susan Klebold, resisted interviews for years. Finally, in November of 2009, she broke her silence in an essay called “I Will Never Know Why” in O Magazine:
“Dylan was a product of my life’s work, but his final actions implied that he had never been taught the fundamentals of right and wrong. There was no way to atone for my son’s behavior.”
She candidly opened up about what it’s like to mistrust your own judgement, be viewed by society as a woman who raised a “monster,” and constantly be consumed by “What Ifs?” I’m re-reading it this morning, sad for every single person affected by what happened last night in Aurora. Every “monster”, every angel, every victim, every misunderstood, damaged, broken human being was– or is– somebody’s baby.
I’m grateful for my family, my friends, and every single blessing I can’t even count fast enough.