Friday, December 21, 2012

Rest in Peace, Nancy Lanza

As the mother of a seven-year-old in Connecticut, I spent most of the last week trying not to imagine my son as one of the young Sandy Hook victims. As stories came out about victims with special needs and their one-on-one aides, this became harder and harder. Any one of those children could be my child.

It takes only slightly more imagination to identify with Nancy Lanza, a divorced mother trying her best to raise a son with special needs on her own. I've read reports that she had fought to get her son appropriate services through their school district but eventually felt the need to home-school him. Her only respite was brief overnight trips alone.

People with paranoid schizophrenia and other conditions that cause psychotic episodes have been known to lash out violently at the people who love them most. Explains the widower of a victim of such a tragedy, mothers are vulnerable to these attacks “Because they love their kids enough to continue to care for them when nobody else will help."

Nancy Lanza took care of her disabled son as well as she could, making great sacrifices and putting herself at tremendous risk, because she loved him. I honor that love - the kind of love every mother has for her children. Let our nation honor that love by making it easier for families like the Lanzas to get the psychiatric support they need.

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Keep it civil, people.