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Monday, December 17, 2012

In Memoriam...


For years I've been joking about life as we know it ending in December 2012 - and never once did I believe it actually would - but the world did end for dozens of families from Newtown, CT, this past Friday.

As a parent to an infant, a toddler and a five-year-old, I can't imagine - I can't fathom - being one of the twenty sets of parent who dropped their child off at a safe, secure school and who later received the worst imaginable phone call.

Why are we going wrong - as a people?

Along with the shooter's mother and six adult women, twelve girls and eight boys, all aged six or seven years old were murdered Friday.

SIX and SEVEN years old....

Guys, where are we going wrong - as a nation?

There is NO political agenda here and I don't have the answers.

All I can say is that I grew up in the '70s, and it was safer. All us kids knew each other and the other parents smacked us as needed - and all because our communities were tight-knit - but they're not anymore.


"Social" media may be a part of it - and here I am using Blogger to help clear my thoughts, but again, I have no idea how WE can change.

I do know, however, I'm going to do my best to be a better neighbor and a bigger part of my community.

I'm going to screw the carbon footprint and work harder to pay it forward.

I'm going to leave behind a loving hand print the next time I shake a soldier's hand after buying him lunch, or get a high five from a parent who's helping me coach my son's T-ball league.

The world will not end on Friday, but it will, it will as dozens of funerals are held in Newton around the same time frame this weekend.

Lord, please let us never forget the twenty angels and the women who were taken so sooner than anyone should have wanted.

Lord, be with their parents, their loved ones, and Lord, please grant the strength to those who read this to step forward in thier own communities.

This has to stop - and WE can stop it - if we believe we can.



Elise Fallson said...


I hate that this has happened. Again. So much pain and loss. Innocent lives lost. I keep thinking about the victims and families affected and my heart aches.

I hold my kids a little tighter.

Trisha said...

All the others have been bad enough, but this one is just way more horrific because they are just little kids. It's too awful to even contemplate. :(

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

There are two ends of the spectrum and as a whole, we've pulled away from one end. You know what I mean.

Suzi said...

Well said.

We are physically far enough away that my kindergartner probably won't hear much about this. My 3rd grader might, so we'll have to talk, which we haven't done yet.

It's so sad to think about all the lives that have been changed. This one will not fade very easily from our minds. And my thoughts/prayers go out to all the familys affected.

Kyra Lennon said...

Amen, indeed.

Excellent post, Mark. Even over here in the UK, we're still reeling from the shock. :(

Dani said...

The convo I had with my 14, 12, and 10 yr olds was painful, educating, and needed. I was asked many questions and tried to answer them as well as I could. My 3 yr old will not remember this and hopefully we as a people can find a way to stop this before she will ever HAVE to experience it. Hopefully what I’m instilling in my children will help hinder such actions in the future through them teaching others.

cleemckenzie said...

I wish I knew what would blot out these kinds of horrors in our society. I've read the accounts in several papers, and I still cry even though I know the details already. As a mother I can't imagine what those parents and relatives are experiencing.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

When I heard about this I was horrified. You're so right Mark and I pray the world does get better.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Sadly there are no clear answers. But I agree that it needs to start with us, as individuals, trying to make things better in every way we can.
Very nice post, Mark.

Melanie said...

I am still in shock over that whole thing..A friend of mine had a sad, sad thought about that this morning - there are just days when kids have a meltdown before school and you have to leave them there. That is something I can not even imagine. I wouldn't be able to live with myself. I hope at the very least none of them had a bad drop off and that their last moments together were happy ones. This should never have happened. My heart goes out to them all.

Melanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Not a parent out there whose heart doesn't grip in agony at the thought of those babies and their families. As parents, we know it is our worse nightmare.

I've been thinking along the same lines, Mark. What can be done? Part of me knows that evil is a part of our flawed world. I read a good article about being a light-- for all we're worth shining in goodness, reaching out, being kind, to dispel as much as much of the darkness around us as we can.

Samantha May said...

I work in a mall, and after the shooting that went on in Oregon last weekend there has been much tighter security around the place. Even still, someone brought a gun to the mall the other day and we had to go on lockdown.

The thing that angers me most about this whole thing, beside the fact that CHILDREN were involved this time, is that these shootings are becoming routine.

I hate that we live in a world where we have to be fearful everywhere we go. When will this end?

Meradeth Houston said...

Amen. Seriously, this has to stop. My heart goes out to all those who lost loved ones, and I pray they are able to find some peace this season.

Something needs to change in our society, and I really love your idea. Definitely looking for ways to pay it forward.

Workingdan said...

Amen. Well said and way to change your outlook. We can't change the world but we can change ourselves and that's a start.

Johanna Garth said...

You summarized it perfectly Mark. Life changed on Friday, but not in the way we were expecting. I just hope we, as a country, can keep it in our memories and enact some kind of change that will address some of the societal problems this tragedy highlighted.

Morgan said...

I can't shake the sickness I have. It's too hard. But thank you for this post, Mark.

Suzanne Furness said...

Amen Mark. This is truly heartbreaking.

Ciara said...

I've been nauseous for days over this. I could bare to read your entire post. As a mother of three boys, my heart is broken for everyone. I pray for peace in our world, and for everyone affected in this tragedy.

Leigh Covington said...

I'm one of the several people having a hard time coping with this. I wish I had the answers too. It truly is unfathomable and absolutely heart-breaking. Lots of love going to those families and I hope we'll all work harder to be a little better. I know I will.

Tammy Theriault said...

thanks for doing this post. it's hard to discuss when it's so aggravating on every spectrum! i feel it reminds us that life is precious, embrace it.

Melissa said...

I think our grandparents, with their lack of technology and their visits with neighbors and family in their parlors and on their porches, had the right idea. Humans were made to have face to face contact and (small) group cohesiveness.

Guns aren't the problem--our ancestors had them and they weren't mowing down kids in schools--relationships are.

Should we look at improving security of access to schools? Probably. But where we need to focus our attention is on people. Hug em, love em, pay attention to them.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Thank you Mark!!! You gave me the first ray of sunlight to my gray world view...politicians can't fix this...but people can. God certainly can, but we have to be His ambassadors.

Ellie Garratt said...

I still can't comprehend how a person could do this and how these families will survive the devastation of losing a child or family member.

I do believe that social media is changing our society and not always for the better. We spend more time online than with families, friends, and neighbours. We have dozens of online friends but what of our community? Our young or elderly?

Unknown said...

I'm going around to all of the wonderful blogs I follow to wish you a Merry Christmas. Have a safe and happy holiday, Mark!


David P. King said...

That was a hard day for me to accept, hearing this news on the way back home from Idaho. Man, did I hug my kids tight when we picked them up from the sitter. My thoughts have been with the families this week.

There's still time to post for the Build Me a Blog hop if you still plan on it today. ")

Tamara said...

This blog made me cry again, which I've been doing a lot of since last Friday. I try not to think about the tragedy that happened, because I don't know what to do.

I read the letter (which i think most people probably have by now) the one that's entitled, "I am Adam Lanza's mother" The letter was horrified me and enlightened me and I think she hit the nail on the head.

As a nation, we need a safety net for these parents. We need a way to help these troubled kids before they grow up to take lives. But, like you, I don't know what that way IS.

The only thing I can do is what you said-- try to be a better person. Try harder in my community. I agree that support starts in our own homes, on our streets and in our towns.

I'm going to hug my kids again now...

Kirsten said...

When I couldn't find words to express how terrible this makes me feel, you found the perfect ones.
Thank for this post. Amen.

Ella said...

It haunts me. I can't stop thinking about it~ Well said Mark! I for one do not understand why Adam's mother taught her mentally ill son, how to shoot a gun?! I just don't understand.... I wonder was he this age, when diagnosed. Why these children...why?
We may never know, but we sure need to make some serious changes in our world~
Such a well done post!

Lauren said...

Please note:

Autism is not a mental illness. I see comments all over recently about "controlling autistic people" and not allowing them to have or use guns, etc. Autistic people are NOT mentally ill. Mental illness is an entirely different beast. It's mental illness that makes people (ANY people) think that murder will get them something they want.

If we try limit autistic people from certain activities, all it will do is make sure that they don't get the help and support they need. Parents will hesitate to have their children diagnosed because of the stigma, and try to deal with it on their own. Millions of people will be marginalized, as long as people are ignorant of the meaning and scope of autism. Before you start lumping autism and mental illness together, please do your homework. It's certain that the media won't do it for you.

Thanks for this post, Mark. The solution is parents who care, people who care, and who teach the children to care. The scriptures speak of a time when people will be "without natural affection." Well, we've arrived.


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