Newtown: Five Years

It’s the fifth anniversary of the shooting at Newtown, and it feels almost like a holy day to me.  I want to hug my kids closer, hold my husband’s hand, hunker down in my house and be safe and together. So, I won’t. I’m remembering the promises I made, and even though I TRY to live them every day, I’m reminding myself and my family that we can’t always heal from bad things, but to grow a scar that reminds of, not only of the trauma, but of the lesson.  Today is five years, and I’m remembering. This is a post I wrote a week after the tragedy that occurred  in our neighboring town.

Sometimes, words are never enough.

We went to a candlelight vigil on our town green to honor our Newtown neighbors one night,

and were back the next night to sing Christmas carols by candlelight,

We try to heal.

Healing isn’t the right word. I don’t believe you ever heal from something as horrific as this.  Healing usually means returning to the previously “whole”state. and I do not think we will ever be whole again. There will always be a small piece missing.   I don’t think that anyone in Connecticut, or even our nation will be the same as we were “before’.  But I can become more.  What I can do is change my small part of the world, to share a little bit of the good, the pure, the love, the innocence that was such a part of the beautiful children and heroic adults that died.

I have spent time hugging more, and writing less.  I snuggled more, chatted more, cried more and laughed less but yes, I laughed.  I practiced #26acts of kindness but stopped counting.   We didn’t watch TV this week, but we played games.  I made everyone’s favorite foods for dinner… just because.  I drank wine and ate cookies.  We made a huge mess making homemade hot chocolate mix and Christmas Crunch and we will share with neighbors that we don’t know so well.  We sang Christmas Carols, and watched Christmas specials.  And I made a promise to myself: remember this feeling.  It means just as much to share kindness on a random February day as it does now.  That  #26acts of kindness should become #365days of kindness.  It doesn’t need to be a large grand gesture, something as simple as appreciating the giggle of a child, the smile of a stranger,  holding a door open for the next person or a hug is plenty.

In fact, I hope I never “heal” but  continue to become something more, something better, someone kinder and give more of myself.


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