When a family member dies, a father is affected.
At least, this one, affectionately called, "Father," is indeed touched and poked with pain when parishioners perish.
Profound pain at the loss of the innocent lives. 26 of God's creations gone now.
Moms also are clearly left with grief also. A lot of it. A parent's nightmare.
Little lambs of God. And older angels, servants of these youngsters and society.
I'm angry. And, more.
Protecting families rests on parents, and adults. After all, it does take a village to raise a child.
As youngsters, my sisters and brothers would fall down the stairwell of our two-story, aluminum-sided home on Detroit's east side near the City Airport, not far from Lynch Road and Van Dyke.
At times, I'd fall into the radiator on the landing where another dozen steps awaited my footsteps.
Once upon a time, I recall crying only after my dad picked me up from another fall in that stairwell. When he swooped me up into his arms with a prompting from my mother, I weeped.
Not before when the bruise first afflicted me.
Now, in dad's hands, however, I felt safe.
Safe enough to cry.
Perhaps it's that way wit the 20 youngsters now. And, the six adults, teachers, a counselor, their principal. They're safe now.
Yes, safe in the arms of God. Away from the harm, and, at times the culture of death that is consuming us in its doubt, despair, even the denial about this land's attachment and obsession with guns killing our kids, and more.
It seems that few civic and clergy leaders, let alone police chiefs and other first responders, want to begin a national conversation about guns. Why not?
Will it require some change?
To do more, to morph, in fact, to keep my kids safe and secure.
Perhaps, now, they will.
Hopefully, they'll join me Tuesday Dec. 18 at 12 noon at Roseville, Michigan Sacred Heart Catholic Church for an interfaith vigil to remember. To feel the grief. To act. And, to be together once more when these national tragedies are as common as blwoing one's nose.
The litany list of victims will be read. Names of my family. My kids. Their father."
We'll sing the hymn, "Silent Night."
We'll be family. Yet, a fractured family wanting to do more to protect children, among others.
We may look up now, knowing that more angels are watching to tell us we need to do more when it comes to gun control in this nation I love.
"We can never do enough for families," noted the late and loved, Cardinal John Dearden of Detroit, a shepherd, one who enjoyed being called, "Father," also.
After all, he was.