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Remembering Sandy Hook

I originally wrote this post last year.

We can’t forget that horrible day. We can’t forget those beautiful children. We must think of their parents and the hole in their families with them gone. In honor of this day, December 14, I will remember the victims of the Newtown shooting.

 

 

 

You know what’s coming up don’t you?

I’ve been dreading it. Not like the 20 sets of parents are dreading it, no. But dreading it.

The anniversary of Sandy Hook will be Saturday, December 14.

I know that many children have died before and since that day. That genocide, cancer and horrors take children EVERY DAY. Yes. I know this. But for some reason, this tragedy reverberates to the depths of every corner in my soul.

I remember exactly what I was doing that Friday when I learned of something awful on social media. Facebook was littered with praying for Connecticut statuses. I had no idea. I went to my laptop and checked the news. My pulse quickened, my blood went cold, it did, it really did. My gut churned with nausea. The tears came to my eyes and the absolute horror grabbed at my throat. I thought first of my own children in their classrooms. I prayed they were safe.

And then, I prayed for the parents of these children. I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine going to that school that day and having a trooper or first responder approach you. You know. You just know. How does the world not fall away. How do your knees not buckle, your heart stop at that moment that your whole existence is ripped from you?

The reports were coming in all over the place. There were arguments over 2nd Amendment rights. Arguments over mental health. We were arguing! Little boys and girls were covered in blood stained Osh Kosh and Gymboree clothes, and Hanna Anderson tights, and Old Navy Christmas sweatshirts, and we were arguing over the fucking Constitution!

I wanted to scream. There were wrapped gifts under Christmas trees for children that would not be able to open them. There were stockings that hung on mantles that Santa would not fill.

There were caskets that needed to be picked out.

Oh my God. 20 little caskets. Why oh why did this happen? How could this happen?

Heroes were made that day. Angels were made that day.

Months later, parents steeled themselves and headed to Congress to fight for gun control that could possibly save future children. There was mocking of them by pundits. What asshole mocks a grieving parent saying it was in vain for political gain?

You lose your child, you fight for others to not lose theirs. It’s that simple.

We need to talk people. We need to compromise and figure this shit out.

There’s a lot that is wrong. There’s a lot that needs changing. I don’t have the answers. But there has to be some steps, some small changes we can evolve. Where crazy people don’t armor up and bring magazine clips to schools to murder children.

If you love your guns, fine. I love my kids. I love your kids too. I love your kids more than you love your gun. Do you love my kids more than you love your gun?

I’m just asking. I don’t want a fight. I want respectful discussion. I want you to respect me and my children, as much as I respect you and your 2nd Amendment rights. That is all.

I will acknowledge your right to bear arms. Please acknowledge my right to want safety and regulation for those arms.

Can we do this? I think we can. We’ve accomplished more.

 

Make the Sandy Hook Promise if you’re interested in education and logical discussion on issues of gun safety.

 

 

Biting my tongue

You know what’s coming up don’t you?

I’ve been dreading it. Not like the 20 sets of parents are dreading it, no. But dreading it.

The anniversary of Sandy Hook will be Saturday, December 14.

I know that many children have died before and since that day. That genocide, cancer and horrors take children EVERY DAY. Yes. I know this. But for some reason, this tragedy reverberates to the depths of every corner in my soul.

I remember exactly what I was doing that Friday when I learned of something awful on social media. Facebook was littered with praying for Connecticut statuses. I had no idea. I went to my laptop and checked the news. My pulse quickened, my blood went cold, it did, it really did. My gut churned with nausea. The tears came to my eyes and the absolute horror grabbed at my throat. I thought first of my own children in their classrooms. I prayed they were safe.

And then, I prayed for the parents of these children. I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine going to that school that day and having a trooper or first responder approach you. You know. You just know. How does the world not fall away. How do your knees not buckle, your heart stop at that moment that your whole existence is ripped from you?

The reports were coming in all over the place. There were arguments over 2nd Amendment rights. Arguments over mental health. We were arguing! Little boys and girls were covered in blood stained Osh Kosh and Gymboree clothes, and Hanna Anderson tights, and Old Navy Christmas sweatshirts, and we were arguing over the fucking Constitution!

I wanted to scream. There were wrapped gifts under Christmas trees for children that would not be able to open them. There were stockings that hung on mantles that Santa would not fill.

There were caskets that needed to be picked out.

Oh my God. 20 little caskets. Why oh why did this happen? How could this happen?

Heroes were made that day. Angels were made that day.

Months later, parents steeled themselves and headed to Congress to fight for gun control that could possibly save future children. There was mocking of them by pundits. What asshole mocks a grieving parent saying it was in vain for political gain?

You lose your child, you fight for others to not lose theirs. It’s that simple.

We need to talk people. We need to compromise and figure this shit out.

There’s a lot that is wrong. There’s a lot that needs changing. I don’t have the answers. But there has to be some steps, some small changes we can evolve. Where crazy people don’t armor up and bring magazine clips to schools to murder children.

If you love your guns, fine. I love my kids. I love your kids too. I love your kids more than you love your gun. Do you love my kids more than you love your gun?

I’m just asking. I don’t want a fight. I want respectful discussion. I want you to respect me and my children, as much as I respect you and your 2nd Amendment rights. That is all.

I will acknowledge your right to bear arms. Please acknowledge my right to want safety and regulation for those arms.

Can we do this? I think we can. We’ve accomplished more.

 

Make the Sandy Hook Promise if you’re interested in education and logical discussion on issues of gun safety.

 

 

Reason To Live Friday #26 – Still trying to find happy

There’s a lot of folks out there that are sad. Sometimes I’m one of them. But my sadness comes and goes. I’ll watch news coverage of a young child’s funeral in Connecticut and burst into tears. I’ll look at my children and think how lucky I am that they are in front of me, and burst into tears. I’m lucky enough to be distracted away from my sadness. Unlike some people’s sadness that’s like a smudge that is stained on their skin. It will need to be washed again and again to start to fade.

I can be gripped with anxiety that makes me think irrational thoughts about my children’s safety. I can start to panic and feel my skin get that cold prickly feeling.

But I can also try to remember that if I don’t get my happy back, I can fall down a rabbit hole of never ending sadness.

When something awful happens to someone else, it brings up our feelings of grief and despair. I know people who have lost a loved one tragically, by their own hand even. I know people missing loved ones from cancer. Little loved ones. I worry about them at times like this. The holidays are bad enough. But to have constant images of grief and tragedy. Motorcades and balloon memorials.

Maybe they feel there is no point for them to go on living. That they too could just leave this earth, and things would go on, and the pain would be over. But that would just cause more pain for others.

Pain and sadness can be contagious. They can be a viscous cycle that doesn’t yield. The dark can keep creeping until the light has been snuffed out permanently.

Don’t let that happen.

We all need to find our happy. We feel guilty laughing. We feel guilty enjoying Christmas movies and cookies and presents. We feel guilty getting to have loved ones to spend these times with.

We need to stop feeling guilty. We deserve to be happy. We deserve to share the happy. Spreading kindness randomly. Sharing joy with others gives them more reason to share it to someone else.

And then it’s okay to be sad again too sometimes. Feelings are good. To feel pain, means that you will feel relief eventually. To feel grief, you will feel joy soon. See the pain as a window, a perspective. Tell yourself, I will look out this window, but only a short time. And then I will close it to open the door of happy once more.

Thankfully, children seem to have the best recipe for finding their happy. If we let them, they seem to flourish in their own lost thoughts. Thank heavens in times like this, their little brains can have the attention span of a flea.

Owen only gets sad if I remind him of sad things. His heart is naturally happy. He has given me plenty to laugh at this week in the area of farts, penis love and boogers. Yes, the Owen trifecta.

At a shop in the mall with all kinds of weird, crazy things like squirrel underpants, and bacon flavored gum, he sees a magnet that reads, I <3 my Penis.  He whispers to me so no one else can hear, “I do love my penis actually. It’s there for me when I’m bored.” Dear heavens son, only in the privacy of your bedroom please. He assures me, only in privacy.

Also this week, in a parking lot, Emma somehow was compelled by the power of song, and decided to belt out at the top of her lungs, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. I admit, I laughed and tinkled. I had to be careful not to literally pee my pants. She was skipping and singing, and on key too, as a matter of fact. Who says (almost) teenagers are self conscious?

I laughed heartily at the recent Saturday Night Live episode with Martin Short. I’m sure it was a little bit funny, but I seem to laugh harder when I desperately need it.

I’ll leave you the link to my favorite skit and you can check it out for your amusement. You’re a Rat Bastard Charlie Brown.

I heard the song on the radio “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, and thought it was Will Ferrell singing. But it was actually Robert Goulet. Which is funny because Will Ferrell impersonates Robert Goulet singing that song and apparently he does a good job. Or I’m just hard of hearing.

Just remember that there will always be light. We have to focus on that. On the giggles and the belly laughs. The sunshine and the snowflakes. That there is a tomorrow.

Peace to all of you my friends. Be safe. And shine your light.