JellyPages.com

The Family

The Family

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

A Lifestyle of Kindness

In the past week I have pondered on the Sandy Hook tragedy, as I am sure many of you have. How could something so horrific happen? How can we as a nation not feel moved to do something? I spent the entire day with tears running down my face. I do not know these people, I have never met them. However, in my heart and in the hearts of people around the world, we are them. There were three thoughts that stood out above the many running through my head and on those I chose to ponder. The first came from a seven hour conversation on Facebook with my siblings. As we went to hair appointments, made dinner, went shopping we discussed how do they tell their children who are around the ages of those killed. We discussed because they live in Connecticut and New Hampshire they would hear about it and how it would be best explained by loving parents. Then it came to the question, "Why is it affecting us all so very deeply?" My sister who had once deemed the Ice Queen spent the day crying and hugging her 8 month old daughter. It comes down to this: When you send you child to school you expect them to come home. Sure they may fall and scrape their knee, get in trouble, or get sick, but you have no reason to expect them to not come home alive. As a parent, when you purchase a Christmas present for your kindergartener you expect them to be alive to open it. It almost seems like these are rights, that our children should be alive, that no one has the right to take their lives for selfish means. Finally, it affected us so very deeply because we are all parents and we are so very thankful at the same time our hearts are breaking as we imagine the horror that those parents are living through. Next came the thought that my husband has sacrificed in service to his country for 24 years, only to have evil come from one of us. An American thought it was ok to kill 26 of our own. I began to wonder if all those years of sacrifice should have been focused on the enemy within. I quickly snapped out of that thought when I realized if not for the service of the military members, instead of 26 lives lost on American soil the numbers could be much higher without the military to protect all that we hold near and dear. So, the next time you feel a little out of joint because he has duty, has to work, or is deployed shake yourself with the thought that his service is protecting all of the kindergarteners of America. What an incredible responsibility the men and women of our military hold. As I continue to process this horrific tragedy one simple thought sticks out...how do we as Americans make sure that these young lives are memorialized forever in our hearts. Not only at a statue or memorial site, but in our daily lives. I for one am way more conscious of how I send my children off to school. Every mother can attest to the fact that when you have one who its still getting dressed and another one who can't find their book bag two minutes before the bus comes, that you are not always spouting off sentiments of love and peace. I have heard many people claim that they will complete 26 acts of kindness to honor the lives of these victims. While this is admirable, why not make it a life style of acts of kindness. Be kind to those in need, those hurting, those who do not have the strength or courage to ask for help. We will never erase the fear and heart break that we feel in our hearts over this tragedy, but we can change the way we live and live a lifestyle of kindness. I pray for all the families that lost someone, for all the first responders who had to give the news that no parent ever wants to hear, I pray for those who work to piece this tragedy together to have it make sense, I pray for this community. I also pray fro the rest of us, that we allow this tragedy to change our lives in a way that will honor those who we lost.