When we see the reports out of Newtown, Connecticut, we keep seeing the number 26. Twenty-six killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School by Adam Lanza. Twenty-six Christmas trees donated to the town to be decorated in memory of the children and school staff. Twenty-six acts of kindnesses suggested to remember the victims. But whatever happened to number 27? To Nancy Lanza?
Adam Lanza's mother was not shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School. She is not one of the 26 ... there, anyway. But doesn't she count? Some will tell you no. Some ... many ... are angry at Nancy Lanza today, they're happy to blame one of the victims in this tragedy because it gives them comfort, it enables them to make "sense" of a senseless tragedy.
But we shouldn't be making ourselves comfortable today, at least not at the expense of a woman who was murdered in cold blood.
No one deserves to be murdered.
Not a woman who may or may not have been careless with her guns. Not a woman whose son may or may not have been mentally ill.
Nancy Lanza was murdered on Friday morning by her own son, yes. Perhaps she saw something in him that made her wonder if he would one day combust. Perhaps not. She was, after all, Adam Lanza's mother, and in our kids we always seek to see the best even when all we can find is the worst.
But Nancy Lanza did not see this coming. If she did, let's face it, she would not be dead.
And more to the point, Nancy Lanza was not Adam Lanza. She did not start the massacre that would claim the lives of 27 innocent people.
That does not include the shooter. His life is the one that I strike from the list because Adam Lanza was the guilty party in this tragedy. He carted guns into an elementary school and shattered our hearts. He shot children. He killed children.
He was an adult man who chose to perpetrate one of the worst acts a person can. He did this.
Not his mother.
Nancy Lanza is a victim. She was murdered. She is gone. She leaves behind a distraught son (remember, Adam had a brother who was misidentified by the media as the killer?). She leaves behind other family members who are destroyed by this tragedy, by losing the woman they loved. She deserves to be mourned today too.
Can you bring yourself to feel some compassion for a woman whose life ended all too soon? Will you mourn Nancy Lanza too?