by Lillian Csernica on May 21, 2018
Today’s fortune says:
Look closely at your surroundings.
POWERS OF OBSERVATION
It started with a scream.
David looked left. Down the street, two struggling men crashed into a woman, shoving her toward the curb. Reflex made her hands open to stop her fall. She lost her grip on the baby stroller. Its front wheels dropped off the curb. A wave of taxis flooded the street, pouring down in a fast yellow tide straight at the stroller.
Half a block. Seconds.
David seized a bright orange planter from beside the doorway of a restaurant. Stretching his legs, pushing his stride, he flung the planter in a short arc. It hit the street just ahead of the stroller. Dirt clods, broken ceramic, and chrysanthemums burst outward like pretty shrapnel. The stroller’s wheels hung up on the debris. The taxis at the front of the wave swerved away from the mess, blocking each other, spinning sideways as crash after crash piled up behind them.
David’s fingers closed around the frame of the stroller, metal bars crossing beneath the bassinet. Hoisting it up into his arms like a puppy snatched from the roadway, he leaped up onto the sidewalk and spun around, slamming his back against the granite wall of a bank. He slid down and hit the pavement, still clutching the entire stroller against his chest.
The woman yanked back the hood of the stroller, terror in her eyes and tears streaming down her cheeks.
The baby let out a wail, both little pink hands reaching up.
David smiled. He didn’t know what that planter had cost, but it was a small price to pay.
by Lillian Csernica on February 21, 2018
I know what it’s like to bury a child.
I lost my son James at 18 weeks when I ruptured early.
The first time I ever identified myself as a mother was when I signed the paperwork for my baby’s funeral arrangements. I’d never seen a coffin that small. Up to that point in my life, I’d never had reason to think about one or realize such a thing existed.
The day of the funeral, I stood there and had to see my baby wrapped in what would have been his first blanket, lying there in his little white satin-lined coffin. I had to stand there and watch while the priests chanted the funeral service and that little white coffin was lowered into that hole in the ground and I had to deal with knowing I’d never see my little boy grow up.
To the parents of all the children who have died in school shootings, I say I cannot imagine how much greater is the pain you’re being forced to suffer now. I never had the chance to get to know James, to see him smile or hear him laugh. You knew your sons and daughters. You watched them grow into fine young men and women with hopes and dreams for their futures.
Futures cut short by a tragedy that should not have been allowed to occur.
I know the agony I’ve had to live with, the tears I’ve shed every time I’ve visited my baby’s grave. I am so terribly sorry that all of you have been forced to experience the torment of such grief.
I promise you, I will do more than send you my thoughts and prayers. I will VOTE. I will MARCH. I will make phone calls and I will sign petitions. I will join the crowds chanting, “NEVER AGAIN!” until my throat is raw and my shirt is soaked with tears.
We must see to it that other children do not die. That other parents do not suffer the grief that you and I must endure. The children of this nation are our children. We must see to it they are safe.