I don't want to talk to you about guns, or death or the horrors that you lived through. I have 3 simple things I want to say to you.
I believe you. When people say it's a lobby or a group of adults behind you or you are being fed lines, it is so easy for me to believe that this is all you. My daughter Sarah, at your age, was articulate, sharp, courageous and beautifully spirited like you are so I have the experience to know you are the real deal. Ignore them. They have no frame of reference for your kind of strength and brilliance.
I thank you. Thank you for taking up this cause. You are a part of my memory and the collective memory of all who have seen you, and heard your pleas and demands. Future children who will live. Future families not shattered. Future peace. The future thanks you.
But here is what I really want to say to you. Woman to Woman. I am not a trauma specialist but I have been through a few. I'm not your mom, but I am a mom. This war you are fighting will take a toll on your body, your spirit, your being. Remember who you were on February 13. You may never be that young woman again, but don't forget her. We need you Emma, for the long haul. Not just for this cause, but many in the future. I want you to take care of you. Take time to mourn. This is a huge responsibility you have taken on. People will want more and more and more of you. Demands that may be unrealistic. Please take time for you. Say no when you need to. This is, as they say, a marathon not a sprint. Rest, rejuvenate, find ways to laugh and search out peace. Please take care of you.