TODAY   |  December 13, 2013

Families speak one year after Sandy Hook shooting

NBC’s Kate Snow talks to three families who lost a loved one in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. about how they continue to remember and honor those lost.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we'll take a turn now. tomorrow marks one year since the horrible day at sandy hook elementary school . and since then the femaamilies have mourned and grieves and looked for ways to honor their loved ones . kate snow sat down with three of the families.

>> and many asked for privacy so we're not there this morning. but these three families wanted to speak to us to honor the children and the mother they lost. we taped these interviews several weeks ago and while they know the world wants to remember them on this one year mark, for them, tomorrow is just another day without their loved ones .

>> i guess i really miss his cuddles. he was really affectionate. i remember the night before, on december 13th , getting into bed with him. we would read every night. i miss reading to him. i haven't read a book outloud since.

>> dylan was autistic and he was a flapper. he would flap really strenuously and it was just his way of showing happiness and excitement and i asked him once why do you flap? and he said because i'm a beautiful butterfly.

>> what do you miss the most about your mom?

>> today it would probably be how warm her hands always were. yesterday, probably would have been how tiny she always felt when i hugged her. depends on the day.

>> reporter: in their grief, time has become elastic. days take an eternity or pass in a blink. mark and jackie barden lost their son daniel .

>> it's further away from our life with our little daniel .

>> to think that it's almost a year since i've held him, that's no time at all.

>> reporter: nicole keeps her son dylan's ashes in an urn on her dresser. she talks to him every day.

>> what do you say?

>> i kiss his urn. i say hello to him every day and say good-bye to him every night.

>> erica's mom was the principal that stood up to the gunman that day. who loved chocolate and signed every note with the smiley face at tattooed on her hand.

>> you called your mom every day.

>> every day.

>> do you still pick up the phone ?

>> i do. i had to cancel the phone because i called all the time.

>> reporter: prompted by all the questions their other two children were asking.

>> how could this happen? why did this happen? we didn't have any answers. and james said i just hope this never happens to any other family ever again. we had the option to do nothing or to do something and then when you think of it like that, we didn't have any options.

>> reporter: the results have been mixed. over a dozen states passed tougher gun laws. congress has not.

>> do you think america missed an opportunity to do something right in the wake of this disaster?

>> possibly. some changes happened. not enough. but do believe it's a matter of when and not if. it will come.

>> it has been probably the worst and best year of my entire life.

>> reporter: in july, erica got married visiting her mother's grave in the wedding dress her mom picked out.

>> i know you had been planning with the wedding with your mom. how was it?

>> exactly how she would want it. it was a perfect day . she would have loved it.

>> perfect except that she wasn't there.

>> she was. she gave me a beautiful gust of wind on a very hot day. she was absolutely there.

>> reporter: mark used to make his living playing guitar and always loved having his kids on stage. he stopped a year ago. but now he is slowing finding his way back. last week his band played to a packed house in newtown. daniel by his side again. and as the night wore on, mark was able to let go just a little.

>> how did that feel?

>> i have been slowing getting back into it. it does feel good to play. i'm enjoying the music. it does feel good.

>> reporter: all three families hoping with time change will come.

>> i need something to drive me and my mom's memory is what is driving me. now i have something to fight for. i have something that gives me meaning back.

>> some of the families plan to light candles tomorrow. what they want us to do to recognize this mark is to support them. they all said perform an act of kindness tomorrow and they also have a centralized website now. we have the logo up behind us here. there's information there about all the foundations they have all created and you can find that on our website

>> thank you so much. it's so hard to remember but i just keep thinking all of them deserve to be remembered.

>> and respected.

>> yeah.

>> we're back in a moment. first, your local news and