My heart weighs heavily about the Newtown shootings from last week. I’m a sensitive person by nature, but finding out that so many people died in such a horrific manner was extremely hard. Especially the children. The ones that won’t be able to grow up. The ones that their family, friends will always remember as their
The ones that hit me the hardest, though, were Dylan Hockley and Ann Marie Murphy. Dylan was six years old. Ann Marie was 52 years old. Anne Marie was a teacher at the school. She cradled Dylan in her arms as the bullets came, to try and shield him. She was his aide but also his comfort.
That could have been B. Dylan was a special needs child. When I read what his parents said about him, it reminded me of B. How everyone loved Dylan, how much he loved the computer, jumping on the trampline, and chocolate. It hit home, especially as B will hopefully mainstream into Kindergarten next year, where he may have an aide like Ann Marie
Ann Marie could have been any of B’s multiple teachers that tirelessly work with him every day. The teachers that are to help him with his socialization, his communication needs or his sensory difficuties. They guide him through life’s little pecularities that he struggles with every day. I know that they would do anything for him.
I’m positive that none of us anticipate and expect anything out of the ordinary besides the various stomach bug and incident report. We expect them to be safe. I know that every day, B’s teachers work with an array of children with special needs, and no two are the same. There is so much during the day that to be concerned about a potential catastrophe has got to be scary.
I have to quell my worries and move on. We have to keep to routine. B has not asked about the incident, and I haven’t mentioned it. We keep the news off, specifically because B will ask questions (repeatedly). It’s not appropriate at this time.
The family of Dylan has created the Dylan Hockley Memorial Fund to help children with autism and other special needs. Donations may be made to the memorial fund via PayPal. If you donate via PayPal, use firstname.lastname@example.org as the e-mail address. There is also a Facebook page created in his memory.
You can also send condolences and support to:
Dylan Hockley Memorial Fund
34 Charter Ridge Road
Sandy Hook, CT, 06482
Anne Marie’s family has asked that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Autism Speaks.
Both families have experienced great loss in this tragedy. But what they have done to further the futures of children with special needs is nothing short of amazing. I hope that their memory will continue to shine on brightly.
Rest in Peace, Dylan and Anne Marie. You will not be forgotten.