Overshadowed Joy

I received a letter in the mail today…

It was a Christmas letter Meg had sent to me from her school media center.  It was riddled with typos, but her message was clear, she was excited about Christmas and being able to send me a letter from school.  Her eyes lit up as I read it and I found myself tearing up as I gave her a great big hug.

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As she skipped off to show the letter to her daddy I couldn’t help but think of the parents at Sandy Hook Elementary who lost their children.  God how would they feel if they were to receive something like this in the mail now?  How would I feel if I were to never see another letter like this or if I were never able to hold my daughter or hear her laugh again?  The thought is unbearable and chokes me as I type…

I don’t think there is a family that hasn’t been impacted by the loss of these children.  It’s not easy to send your child to school in the wake of such a tragedy and it’s hard to swallow when you receive a phone call from the school telling you they’re locking the school down and if you’d like to come in you need to call ahead of time so someone can meet you at the doors.

How did we get here?  How do we change?

We have to step away from ourselves, our stubborn natures, and re-evaluate everything!  We have to look at our laws and the types of weapons we’re allowing to enter our society.  We have to do away with stigmas and stop criminalizing mental health so people who need help seek it out.   We have to examine how we’re raising our children, the time we’re spending and the values we’re teaching them.

I feel as though we take a lot of things for granted when the truth is we should celebrate and enjoy every moment we have in life because those moments aren’t always guaranteed to be there!  Something my brother-in-law said at our wedding keeps playing in my head and while it may sound cheesy there’s truth to it… yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift!

Hug your children a little tighter, be respectful and try to put yourself in the shoes of those parents who will have to bear the weight of a child’s casket over the next few weeks when you’re thinking about what changes need to happen.

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