Temporary Marjory Stoneman Memorial in Parkland. Photo by Sharon Aron Baron.

By: Kim Singer

There are so many clichés around time and the passing of it. “Time flies,” or “It felt like it was just yesterday,” come to mind. Another one that comes to mind is the blanket statement that, “time heals all wounds.” 

No. It does not. 

Time makes wounds feel different, but it does not heal them. 

When a gash in your life and the lives of your loved ones open, you cannot help but tend to it every day, in an effort just to survive. In the context of the tragedy that occurred in the Coral Springs and Parkland communities on February 14, 2018, it is not a colloquialism that it does feel like it was just yesterday. 

On February 14, and in the days leading up to it, the media will surround our school once again. They will wait on the sidewalk as students walk to school clamoring for soundbites to show the world how exactly Parkland is doing one year later. 

So, how are we doing? 

That is a loaded and very personal question that means something different to everyone. For our family, I feel in many ways we feel the same as many families still do in the sense that we are still trying to wrap our head around how our friends went to school and never came home.  This is not a sympathy piece as my child came home that day.  My daughter was not robbed of her future that day.  I have my daughter, however the question is, what daughter do I now have?  I love my child unconditionally, but I miss my old child.  I miss her innocence and I miss her easy happiness.   

Between mothers, I think we still have tremendous fear and grief. If I were to run into any mom at Target that once upon a time I may have known, we are instantaneously in the same place when we greet each other with the standard, “How’s things?”  We do not need to be friends. Just being moms is enough.  We all share the same sentiments, from why was my child spared that day to will my child be okay. 

I do not know how dads feel, except the father of my own children. For him, I believe he has a loop in his head repeating, “how can I keep my daughters safe” which causes his head to swivel in all public places.

In the course of one year, many more massacres have occurred. A few weeks ago, five women were asked to lay down and were shot in the head at their workplace. This registered as a blip on the news and in the national conscience. 

Unlike climate change, which our president has deemed fake news, you cannot deny the grisly statistics of gun violence.  It is real, it exists, and we cannot build a wall around it.  I am furious at every party and entity who failed miserably in each and every capacity assigned to them, but more often then anger, I find myself coming back to reflection.  Reflection on how to continue to move forward, to put something positive daily out into the world, and how to support my child who is often as approachable as a cactus some days.   

Ella and Kim Singer.

For many months my mind has dwelled in dark places, and I have cycled the phrase of “what if” dozens of times a day in my mind.  I have reached out to people of every faith, trying to find some peace, and some way to reconcile the overwhelming violence that day. I have thought about what my child saw, felt, and thought that day in the closet, and when she found out about each of her friends and classmates. I have not been able to find peace and reconciliation, but I have found other things I did not know I was looking for.  I have found deeper relationships with women whom I have known for years that have been such a source of support. I have found release in just letting my daughters just ‘be.” In a hyper-competitive community, I genuinely just want them to be happy and healthy. 

They will find their right place in the world. 

Kim Singer is a Coral Springs parent who works in education   She has two daughters, ages 14 and 16. She continues to be inspired every day by people trying to make things better.