Whatever pain you can’t get rid of, make it your creative offering.Susan Cain, Bittersweet
We invited Mama Writers to share their words wrestling with the pain and emotion of the horrific shootings at Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, TX. We hope their art inspires and challenges you.
Have you created art from the recent events? We’d love for you to share it in the comments.
Tender Flesh, Delicate Bone, Remains of the Day, Andrea Lani
In this stunning poem, Senior Editor Andrea Lani notices a swallow’s nest in her yard and can’t help but think about Uvalde, Sandy Hook, and Columbine.
to borrow tragedy,
imagine yourself in another
yet this morning I walked outside
tears in my eyes, ache in my gut
past the nest box
where the mother
low over my head
and clacked at me with
Where Do We Go From Here?, My Favorite Things Substack Newsletter, Crystal Rowe
Blog Editor Crystal Rowe shares a story of talking with her daughters about Uvalde while making dinner on what should have been an ordinary night.
Maybe I should avoid it this time too. Tell her it’s nothing for her to worry about. Bury my head in the sand and pretend it didn’t happen. I can bottle up all the pain inside and change the subject, holding her and her sister for a little longer at bedtime tonight, like I did ten years ago. I can protect them from finding out. Keep the news turned off, not talk about it, just ignore the reality of it all.
Or I can be honest with her and allow her to come alongside me in the journey of pain.
I let go of the knife, let it rest on the cutting board, and decide to tell her the truth. I’d rather she hear it from me than from somewhere else. “Fourteen children were shot at school today. They were your age.”
Rowe challenges us to think about those mothers who have lost their children to gun violence and take steps towards action.
My babies are alive, but there are mothers in Texas today whose babies are dead. Killed by a child. Who never should have had access to a gun.
My heart is broken. Where do we go from here?
Gun Violence—How Do I Talk to My Kids?, Holly Rizutto Palker, Writer, Holly Rizutto Palker
In this article from 2015, Profiles Editor Holly Rizutto Palker wrestles with her children’s experience in shelter-in-place mode and the constant worry parents feel over gun violence in schools.
I hate that my children have to live in this world of code reds and code whatevers. I wonder what this lack of innocence will do to their adult selves. Will they always look over their shoulders or become callous individuals? It isn’t fair that my kids had to spend that time at school in a ‘shelter-in-place’ mode, away from me and scared. The most unfair thing of all is that there are really parents out there who have lost their children tragically to gun violence and I’m so lucky to have mine.
It’s the Mothers for Me, Instagram, Rachel Nevergall
Written more than a year ago in the wake of a series of mass shootings, this poem by former blog contributor Rachel Nevergall, considers the mothers of victims.
It’s the mothers for me.
The ones who knew how they liked their sandwiches at four,
who knew what monsters hid under their beds and
how to scare them out the door.
The ones who can no longer rest their babies on their hips
because their babies
rest on the floor.
Oh America, Instagram, Autumn Purdy
Former Reviews Editor laments on gun violence in America today and calls on us to be agents of change.
How many more precious babes
must bleed for our sins?
How many times must we weep?
Dig premature graves?
Home of the free, brave,
Close your eyes, see their faces,
freedoms snatched away.
Close your eyes, see their faces,
wake to watch yours sleep.
They deserve better.
Close your eyes, see their faces.
We must do better.
Be Prophets of Peace.
Shun the woeful Culture’s cures.
Be Agents of Change.
Oh, Mother Country,
Tend to our despairing hearts,
help us “Let Love Rule.”