Today will be like any other. In a few hours, I will drive my 7-year old son and 6-year old daughter to school. I will walk them to their classroom lines. I will give them hugs and kisses, say "I love you," and wish them a great day before they walk with their teachers and friends into their respective classrooms. Today will be like any other. Except, it won't.
I will hold onto them a little big longer. I will fight back tears as I watch them walk into their school. I will worry about their safety. I will think about the difficult task their teachers have of making today seem like an ordinary day, when their minds will be preoccupied.
Someday, it will be better. It will be easier to watch them walk away. It will be easier to trust that they are safe. But today will be a difficult day.
Today I will light this candle and let its flicker of light represent hope. Hope for peace. Hope for comfort. Hope for change. Hope for us all to get through today, and the rest of these difficult days.