This is not the post I started out to write today.
I started out writing a post about hatred and murdered children and how desensitized our society has become. I wanted to vent about the horrible events of Newtown, Connecticut and other recent tragedies. I wanted to give in to the rage and write my rawest emotions and fiercest anger. I actually did write those things, all of them, but when it came time, I couldn't click on the publish button. I'm not going to contribute to the hatred that flows too easily through the air that we breathe and the thoughts that we think.
And our frog died tonight.
Swimmy was a tiny, african river frog. Emma won him six months ago, and he lived with us for about five months, three weeks, and six days longer than I thought he would. African river frogs are not hard to take care of -- you change their water every month or so, drop in a food pellet now and then, and they pretty much do the rest. You don't take them for walks or pet them. You don't cuddle with them or play catch. You mostly just look at each other.
But the grief in our home tonight is real. Emma is crying because she is just coming to understand the wrenching emotion of losing something (or someone) in which you have invested time and love. The rest of our tears come from watching Emma's poor little heart break.
Love and life are profound.
And each life touches every other life, which is why loss is so difficult to accept.
I planned to write tonight about the pain that is caused by hatred, but I think the deepest pain is really a result of love, and the loss we feel when something or someone we love is separated from us. Hatred is cold and small and singular, but love is warm and affirming and encompassing. The potential breadth of love is never ending.
I would never equate the life, or loss, of a small frog with the lives of children, cut short by a deranged and hateful man. That loss is more than I can comprehend. There is no answer that provides comfort, except for this: Love is eternal.
Know that life is a miracle.
Know that life is significant.
Know that every life matters.
And know that the chance to live is superseded only by the chance to love, and the pain we feel at the loss of a loved one is the evidence that our hearts are working properly.
I believe that there are more hearts in this world that love, than hearts that hate.
And I will always believe that.