Sandy Hook, Franklin Regional, Fort Hood, KinderCare

A picture in front of KinderCare last night. Taken by @MarinaMarraco.

A picture in front of KinderCare last night. Taken by @MarinaMarraco.

Fia is a funny little kid, a few weeks ago she asked me to “put talking on” – we were listening to her favorite Spotify mix, but she wanted some NPR.

On Monday I dropped off my daughter at the preschool/daycare she goes to two mornings each week, this morning there was some piece about Sandy Hook on as we were pulling into the parking lot of her daycare in Winter Park, FL and I thought of all of those parents who sent their kids to school that day and never heard their voices again. Fia walks and runs like a champ, but she wanted to be carried in that day and I was more than happy to hold and hug her tight on our way in.

Wednesday afternoon, after we’d picked her up from daycare, after hearing about the stabbings west of Pittsburgh, I got a call from a friend asking where Fia’s preschool was and if she was there. He said something about a car running into a daycare in Winter Park and that kids were hurt. Even though I could see her curly mop focused on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, my heart dropped out.

The Winter Park KinderCare is less than a 1.5 miles from Fia’s school. As we drive there, I know that we pass cars carrying kids that are headed to KinderCare. There are definitely children that live in our neighborhood, it’s just too close for there not to be.

As I carried my first baby in on Monday I thought about how much her absence would wreck me, not just her being at school absence or her one day going to college absence. But, if she was gone. If she was taken like little Lily Quintus is, the child killed by some big jerk with a big ego in a big truck, one of two things would likely happen. I’d either turn into Liam Neeson from Taken, but without the “particular set of skills,” or I’d end up a kind of empty shell for a while. I’d snap out of it eventually, I’d have a wife to love and comfort, a son to raise, and most importantly I have a God that is merciful. I’d eventually get to the point that King David did when his first son died, believing that I will see her again.

I don’t have a point that I’m aiming at. I’m just processing a little.

I used to get mad at these kind of things happening (I still do), but more and more often they lead me to hug my wife, my daughter and my son tighter and to try to soak up every minute we have.

I hope they find Robert Corchado, if it turns out that he really is the guy that cause this I hope they throw the book at him. I hope he goes to prison and is know as the guy who killed a 4-year-old. Eventually my anger turns to mercy, my rage to forgiveness, my desire for justice for my desire for the same mercy that has been shown me by this God that sees the depths of our hearts and still calls to us.

Driving cars off the road. Shooting kids. Stabbing classmates. Escalating fights to the point of violence at work.

But for the Grace of God, there goes Jayson Whelpley.

I miss my neighbor.

Arlingtonian Thomac ”Eric” Newman passed away Sunday evening January 27, 2008 at his home in Arlington, VA after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 59. Eric was a lifelong resident of Arlington, graduating from Wakefield High School in 1967. He was employed by the Safeway Food Chain for over 25 years. He was born in Washington D.C. and attended both St. Thomas More and St. Ann Catholic Churches. Eric leaves a host of loved ones behind including a large loving family and many friends. Eric is survived by his wife Nora, stepdaughter Reina and husband Quinn Masi, and their son Quinn Anthony. His parents Joseph and Doris Newman also of Arllington and si blings: Joseph Newman II and wife Brenda; Stephanie Hoster; Amy and husband Mike Ackard and Doris and husband Mark Martinez. Eric leaves many nieces and nephews. Friends may visit The MURPHY FUNERAL HOME OF ARLINGTON, 4510 Wilson Boulevard on Wednesday January 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be a graveside service Thursday January 31 at 1 p.m. at Columbia Garden Cemetery, 3411 Arlington Boulevard, Arlington, VA.

I found out today that our neighbor, Eric, passed away 3 weeks ago and I never knew… I never even cared to go and ask. I feel like I took him for granted even though I knew he had lung cancer. Eric was a great guy and was one of the most friendly people I’ve ever met. There is still a note from him here asking us to call him… we never did.

I feel horrible today, I feel like I ignored a dying friend who cared about me more than I did about him. I don’t know if prayers can work retroactively, but I believe they can… I’ll be praying for him and for his wife that has survived him a lot.