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Newtown- One week since...

Today is one week since the tragedy in Connecticut. I wasn't sure if I wanted to weigh in on the recent Newtown tragedy but feel compelled to get out some thoughts.

I remember my Grandpa telling me when I was a kid that there would be big things or events in the world that would stick more with me than others. I believe he is right. Everyone has moments where you remember where you were when it happened.

I'll never forget Grandpa calling the house to say, "Well, it's a shame, a real shame." And me being about 12 asking what he meant and him responding with the news Princess Diana had been killed overnight in an automobile accident. I felt horrified for her children, even being a child myself. I always paid attention to the pictures of her helping so many and her beauty she shared with the world in her truly, short time among us.

I remember being in 10th grade and my science teacher, quite a bit like Ms. Frizzle from Magic School Bus, being the only teacher who would forget to turn off the tv from morning announcements and instead would mute the sound. Of course we were paying attention to her, not the tv that would play anything more exciting than molecular pigs feet or whatever we were doing. When the screen changed to show smoke billowing from two really big towers in NYC, we all slowly started to tune in. Even Ms. Frizzle turned the sound up finally. As classes changed and I wandered to my English class, I saw every class along the way had their tv on and the sound was up. A familiar substitute stood at the front of my class. I think his name was Mr. Parker. He stared blankly at the screen and the only thing I recall him saying was that we were looking at the modern day Pearl Harbor. One of my good friends was in hysterics by lunch time because her family could not reach a bunch of her cousins who lived in the city. I saw other peers crying and sobbing on the phone, some just staring blankly, some angry already. We all have own recollections of where we were and how we felt, I'm sure. From my recollection, it was the first news event I felt like a grown up. I watched in the days and weeks after every story, every declaration, every word that was said.

As for Newtown, unfortunately this definitely resonates with me as a tragedy that will always stand at the forefront of my mind. I was at lunch with Hunter and a friend of ours from work. He got a text from a buddy asking if we'd heard. When I got back to the office I got online. The sickness my soul felt is unlike any other. Coworkers of mine were only able to read halfway through the events that happened; grown, tough men were tearing up and declaring they couldn't handle the news. And of course, we all could not ignore the realization that Christmas is days away. These families would have to deal so soon with the sadness many describe during holidays they feel regarding lost loved ones.

How could this happen?

Children, babies, some couldn't even tie their shoes yet and they're gone. I can't wrap my head around it. I understand people are sick and people have issues, but there has to be more for said person to look for to escape the thinking that precedes this type of action. Children don't have a chance to defend themselves against this type of monster. How are parents and family supposed to ensure a child is not terrified of a new monster known as man? One who is brazen enough to appear in the day time. Children do not deserve this type of fear. Adults do not either.

I'm not sure of a solution, if there even is one. Guns aren't going away, laws may tighten, I'm not sure if any of it will be helpful. The only thing that can be done is to keep kids hopeful about growing up; keep them in your hug a little longer and tighter; and most definitely and absolutely tell them not to be afraid. The monsters are out there but courage and kindness can defeat many-a-monster. Courage allows you to face another hour, a day, a year from now when you think of the hurt that will be revisited by so many impacted by this. Kindness will allow us to reflect on the hurt and help us to acknowledge one another, share some love and eventually smile a little bigger.

To everyone in Newtown, I am so sorry for your losses. I am so sorry you are suffering the way you are and you are left with far too many questions and seemingly less answers. Hang in there. The world cries with you. The world stands behind you too though. We will never forget about any of the beautiful children or adults who lost their lives. Bless everyone of your hearts and keep faith that peace will prevail.

Feeling devastated,


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