Archives

Remembering #911 – September 11, 2001 – Do You?

I haven’t and will never forget the horror of September 11, 2001.  I know where I was.  I know how I felt.  I know how I feel even now, thirteen years later.  The world changed for all of us and will never be the same again.  Read my thoughts on the subject by clicking here.   I’m sure they are similar to yours.  It is a day we all share in our memories.

Gratitude

Some days are days where few words are needed.  They are days when one need only be silent and immerse their thoughts in feelings of gratitude.  This is one of those days.  My thoughts flow to:

family… health… .friendship… comfort,,, peace… contentment

I need nothing more and that is all that needs to be said.  Thank you God.  Thank you universe.

Newtown Shocks a Nation

It’s been six days since 27 people died senselessly in Newtown, Connecticut and our nation is still reeling from the horror. Mainstream media has brought the faces and stories of those killed into our living rooms and made the tragedy even more personal. We turn on the television and there are the faces of beautiful, loving, and happy children or dedicated educators, all who had a bright future just a few days ago. Our shock and grief is real, as real today as it was six days ago.

One cannot help but be touched by the outpouring of love and support that has been shown to the community of Newtown, Connecticut. Hearing the stories of compassion shown by strangers warms the heart and reminds us that there is still more good than evil in the world. Stories like the 27 wreaths that were sent to the first responders from a family in Oregon or the arrival of nine Comfort Dogs from the mid West help to restore our faith in the human race.

Across our nation discussions are taking place about gun control and the problems in our mental health system. Now, we have to step up and own our responsibility to help create the necessary changes. We have to act as a community of concerned citizens and let our legislators know that we will not allow partisan politics to silence our voices. We owe it to the children, all our children, to hold our politicians accountable for making the necessary changes, whatever they may be. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye and think it is someone else’s problem. We cannot continue to think it’s not our problem.

While my heart is still shattered, I am hopeful and committed to have my voice heard. Are you?

The Shattered Hearts and Broken Minds in our Society

Like so many others around the world, my heart has been shattered by the events in Connecticut, where 27 people lost their life in a senseless killing.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t wrap my brain around how someone can brutally murder innocent children.  I can’t begin to understand how a family picks up the pieces after such a horrible tragedy.  But, they do.  

Something has gone horribly wrong in our society.  The idea that violence is the answer to our problems has got to be changed.  Violence is never the answer.  There must be an answer for how a young mind can become so terribly distorted that it sees innocent people as the enemy.

 

The human spirit is strong and resilient.  We will go on and some will push for new laws and increased awareness.  Others will reach out to comfort those who are hurting.  Life will continue even though for now it seems that it is standing still.  

 

If we take nothing else from this tragedy, I hope that we will all realize how fragile and short life is and that we will make a stronger effort to say “I love you” to those that matter to us.  I hope we will see that children, all children, are the responsibility of all of us.  And, I hope we will see that we have to change our priorities.  

We can’t go back in time and change what has happened but we have to change the way we go forward.  It’s the only answer in this sea of sadness.  

 

Thoughts on the holiday season ahead

Even though it’s only a few weeks before the Christmas holiday. I don’t have much to do – thankfully. Our family keeps it simple since my Mom’s stoke. We don’t exchange gifts anymore. Instead, each of us puts money into a fund that we donate to a local charity, as a family. We know how blessed we are and that gifts don’t make us any happier than we already are. But for someone who has nothing, a little help makes all the difference.

I don’t have to look very hard to see that there are a lot of families struggling this year. With so many lost jobs and rising prices, families are having a pretty hard time. Young children don’t understand why Santa can’t fill the space underneath the tree. They don’t’ understand that you can’t buy new lights for the tree to replace the ones that burned out last year when things weren’t so bad. Children don’t understand that look in a father’s eye when he hears them tell a friend about the new game they’d love to have but that he can’t afford. And, they don’t understand why Mom is so sad. She just doesn’t know how to tell them they won’t be able to travel to Grandma’s this year.

Yes, life is hard for a lot of folks right now. As the season approaches, I am reminded of those who have lost a loved one this year to illness or accident. It will be their first Christmas alone with all the memories of past seasons and happy times. This will be a lonely holiday. I find myself thinking of the elderly in nursing homes, lost in their old memories of times gone by. Will there be anyone to hold their hand on Christmas and offer a smile while listening to their stories?

My mind wanders today, to the soldiers far from home and the families praying for their safe return. And then there are the first responders, the medics, the firemen, the police, who will spend the holiday helping others while their families celebrate without them. I think of those that are sick, knowing that this will be their last Christmas with loved ones. How do you smile when your time is so short?

It would be so easy to be sad but I can’t be. I have so much faith in the human spirit; the goodness in people, and I know that around the world, people are reaching out to make the holidays a little brighter for those in need. As hard as things are these days, I am encouraged by the people I know who are generous and caring and who I know will be doing as much for others as they do for themselves. It gives me hope for the future.

The holidays will come and go but the compassion I see all around me will go on. It tells me that there is far more good in the world than evil and that is what feeds my dream of a brighter tomorrow for all the world. Yes, I am a dreamer but I’m not the only one.