I first heard about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on the Friday afternoon. I didn't react much at first - I hadn't yet realized the magnitude.
Now that I have, the only word that I have found that adequately describes how I feel about the loss of the lives of the 20 first graders is "unbearable". I can not bear it, it is not able to be endured.
What I do not care about is the shooter. He is nobody. He is nameless. He is faceless. He's rightfully been removed from this earth - and for that, I thank God.
I do not care who he was. I do not care what his name was. I do not care why he did it. There is no reason I would find acceptable so I do not care.
What I do care about is the children. And remembering their names. I want to remember all of their names.
I care about Charlotte Bacon.
I'll remember that her mother couldn't resist her pleas to wear her new pink dress and boots to school that day. And I'll remember that life for her older brother, Guy, will never be the same. I will remember her name by thinking of Charlotte's Web.
I care about Daniel Barden.
Who his family said was, "fearless in the pursuit of happiness in life." He was the baby in his family, with two older siblings, James and Natalie. He had bright red hair and wanted to be a firefighter. I will remember his name by thinking of the New York City firefighters who attended his funeral.
I care about Olivia Engel.
She was a child who "lit up a room and the people around her." She was a big sister to her 3-yr-old brother Brayden. I will remember her name reminds me of Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie.
I care about Josephine Gay.
I read that her family called her "Joey" and that she loved the color purple. I will remember her name by thinking of a baby kangaroo.
I care about Dylan Hockley.
His mother called him "Super Dylan" and he had an older brother named Jake. Dylan and his family moved to Connecticut from the UK. His mother said, "We will always be a family of four." I will remember his name by thinking about hockey.
I care about Madeleine Hsu.
Madeleine's family is so stricken they cannot comment. Madeleine had two younger sisters and she loved seeing her neighbors' Golden Retriever when she got off the school bus. I will remember her name by thinking of the very lovely Madeleine Stowe.
I care about Catherine Hubbard.
Catherine loved animals and she had an older brother, Frederick. I will remember her name by thinking of the nursery rhyme "Old Mother Hubbard". The first three lines of the Mother Goose nursery rhyme are "Old Mother Hubbard, Went to the cupboard,To give the poor dog a bone;".
I care about Chase Kowalski.
Chase had two older sisters, Erin and Brittany. The photo released of Chase looks as though he is sitting on his 4-wheeler that he loved to ride. I will remember his name by thinking of Kawasaki motorcycles.
I care about Jesse Lewis.
Jesse ate a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit on Friday before he went to school - I will think about him each time I eat one now. He was also learning to ride horseback. I will remember his name by thinking of Jesse James from the Old West.
I care about Ana Marquez-Greene.
Ana had an older brother and she was also a very good singer. She had roots in Puerto Rico and music in her blood. I will remember the picture of her with the pretty little blue bow in her hair and I will remember her name by thinking of Anne of Green Gables.
I care about James Mattioli.
James had an older sister. He was a numbers guy and loved to do anything with math. He loved his Dad's egg omelets and his Mom's French toast. I will remember his name by thinking of the toy company Mattel.
I care about Grace Audrey McDonnell.
Grace was the center of her parents' lives. I will remember the picture of her with the pretty pink bow in her beautiful blonde hair. I will remember her name by thinking of Amazing Grace and Audrey Hepburn.
I care about Emilie Parker.
Emilie had two younger siblings. She was a stunning little girl and I will remember her cherubic face. I will remember her name by thinking of the song "Me and Emily".
I care about Jack Pinto.
He has at least one older sibling and he was a New York Giants fan. I will remember his name by thinking of Pinto horses.
I care about Noah Pozner.
Noah had a twin sister, Arielle. He also had an older sister, Sophia. I will remember that he would tell his Mom, "Not as much as I love you." when she told him she loved him. I will remember his name by thinking of Noah's Ark.
I care about Caroline Previdi.
Caroline had a big brother, Walker. Caroline had an infectious grin and loved to draw and dance. I will remember her name by thinking of the song "Sweet Caroline".
I care about Jessica Rekos.
Jessica had two little brothers, Travis and Shane. She loved everything horses but didn't have a horse. She reminds me of myself when I was a little girl. If I could have foresaw her future I would have invited her to our house to ride the ponies. I will remember her name by thinking of her as the main character in the movie "Flicka".
I care about Avielle Richman.
Her parents called her Avie and her Dad had a blog just for her called "Avielle's Adventures. Avie loved horses, Harry Potter, and the color red. Her dad called her his "little hummingbird". I will remember her name by thinking of Avian (birds).
I care about Benjamin Wheeler.
Benjamin had an older brother, Nate. Benjamin grew up in a musical household and could play the piano. He would blow his family kisses and say, "Capture it and put it in your heart." I will remember his name by thinking of the band name Stealers Wheel.
I care about Allison Wyatt.
Allison wanted to be an artist and her drawings were taped up all over the house. The photo released of her was with a pink birthday cake with sprinkles on top and pink striped candles that reminds me of Alice in Wonderland - and that is how I will remember her name.
I also care about the six adults at the school who lost their lives trying to protect the children: Rachel D'Avino who was about to be engaged; Dawn Hochsprung, the school principal; Anne Marie Murphy, a mother of four; Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau, who had just realized her dream of becoming a full-time teacher this fall; Mary Sherlach, who loved helping children; and Victoria Soto who tried to save all of her children.
May God be with them all.
I will remember them.
"Capture it and put it in your heart." - Bejamin Wheeler