A Day for All Kinds of Hearts

Valentine’s Day is celebrated with candy hearts and cards, but there are a group of families in Parkland, Florida that will forever remember it as the day that their loved ones, 14 of them students, died. I couldn’t help but think of them this morning as I dropped my daughter at school.

I got frustrated in the drop-off line this morning
By the parents who insisted on giving their children
One more hug and kiss before letting them go
Internally I yelled at them
“You’ll see them again this afternoon.”
Then I remembered that one year ago today
14 mommas and daddies thought the same thing as me
Perhaps even scoffed at other parents in the drop-off line
I pulled my daughter close and kissed her precious head
Inhaled the scent of raspberry citrus shampoo
Once more before she opened the car door
To sprint towards her locker and the orchestra room
I left my frustration there in the drop-off line
And picked up the grief that had been hiding
Just out of sight
I pulled it over my head like a well-worn but still not comfortable sweater
I let the weight of it break my heart all over again
Valentine’s Day is a day of hearts
Hearts that will forever beat to a dirge
Hearts stopped with a million beats and boundless love still inside them
Hearts rent by the violence
Hearts grateful for one more day
For one more hug
One more kiss
Take your time today mommas and daddies
And take your time tomorrow too
I’ll wait

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