Sunday, December 16, 2012

Now More Than Ever

Yesterday I got up early knowing I had to run if I was going to deal with the huge lump of sadness sitting in my gut. I know every single one of you had the same heart breaking response to the school shooting in Connecticut on Friday. I don’t want to go into details here, that is what CNN is for, but suffice it to say that the horrific nature of those events are so unconscionable, so wretched, so gruesome, that thinking about it is almost too much. Yet, I can’t stop thinking about them. All 26 of them.

Like most, we spent Friday night on the couch, huddled together grateful we could touch, hold and speak to one another. But, painstakingly aware that others could not.

The sunrise yesterday morning was calming and glorious:

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I had to run. It was the only thing I could think of to do. Ken and I did a silent, chilly 9 mile run on some trails around Boulder. The stinging cold air and the serene beauty of the reservoir and the nearby foothills did bring some fleeting peace.

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In all of the things I have heard said about this tragedy, I think a congressman from Connecticut expressed it best. He attended the Friday night vigil at a Catholic Church in Newtown and said (I am summarizing), “I see many children here. Yes, bring your children. Show them that there is so much love and light amidst the horror.” An interactive website called Wall of Love has been set up to demonstrate this exact thing. Show it to your kids.

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With our own kids it is hard to know what to say. I have been very honest. I tell them there are sick people in the world who do very bad things. But, I also remind them that the vast majority of people are good and want to bring peace and kindness. I tell them that in the face of all that is scary and unsettled out there, we still live our lives and try not to consumed by all of our fears of “what if.” It’s all I can say because I cannot tell them they are safe. Because I don’t know that they are – and that is gut wrenching. But, I will be damned if we are going to hole up in our house be afraid all of the time.

If you want to help the Sandy Hook victims and their families, here are some ways (taken from HERE). And, if you know of any other online efforts to help the victims, please share them in the comments.

Peace now more than ever,

SUAR

PS: This post/this blog is not a forum for arguing political and religious viewpoints, making assumptions about what I believe or don’t believe, or attacking me or others. If you leave those comments they will be immediately deleted and reported.

37 comments:

  1. I am still processing this event. You are so right, though, that we need to hold on to the love we have and make that the main emphasis in our lives. I haven't written or run since Friday, but hope to today to help work through my emotions. Running is my way of praying: I go out there in hopes that under the vast sky, the pleas and hopes from my heart will be heard.

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  2. I don't even have children and I'm horrified by this. Horrified in a way that I haven't been by other shootings. I'm not sure why. Maybe it hit me at a vulnerable time personally, or that it's near Christmas, or that the kids were so young. Horrified enough that I couldn't even blog about what I was thinking.

    Being Canadian I get a bit of an outsider's view of the USA. It's interesting because in so many ways it's much like Canada, with these startling, head and gut wrenching differences. One of them is guns, and attitudes to them. I do have opinions, but your comments is not the place. I have a blog of my own for that.

    I just hope some of the gun related vitriol does not show up here. You run a classy blog, farts and all.

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  3. I'm injured right now and can't run. As a teacher and mother of an almost six year old, this one is a double gut punch. Being unable to cope like I usually do is making this extra hard. I want nothing more than to hit the pavement and break into years somewhere around mile three and leave it out there, but I can't. I don't know how to move past this one, but somehow I have to breathe deep and make my classroom a safe space for my students tomorrow.

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    1. @Erin, I'm with you. I can't run OR ride, and it's really hard for me to process this.

      As a teacher, this is just horrifying. I am still mulling over what to say to my students (3rd graders) if they bring it up, tomorrow.

      And I keep thinking about the first responders who were called to this. We don't have kids, but my husband (law enforcement/EMT) has been deeply shaken by responding to calls that involve children. My heart breaks for the men and women who responded to that scene.

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    2. I teach 8th grade, so I know it's going to come up. And in typical 8th grade fashion, they're going to want to talk about it possibly not in the most sensitive of ways. I don't know if I am ready to deal with it, but I will. My thoughts are with you tomorrow as you make a safe space for your kids.

      My heart keeps going to the first responders, too. Those men and women who walked into the classrooms with those poor babies...I can't even imagine. The photo that's circulating of the three policemen holding each other and crying says it all.

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  4. And halfway across the globe, in an event the news completely ignored, on the same day of the CT shooting, 22 Chinese schoolchildren were killed in a stabbing. 2 opposite sides of this Earth, but equally as devastating. Praying for everyone involved in both tragedies. (http://presstv.com/detail/2012/12/15/278109/22-schoolchildren-stabbed-in-china/)

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    1. Pretty sure they weren't killed, only injured. News reports are not very specific, but I haven't seen anywhere that they were killed(and I've looked).
      Still terrible, but makes a difference.

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  5. I too took flight into the woods yesterday (though not at dawn ;) it was all I could think to do to cope with the sorrow. It was a beautiful day here in NY, especially for december. I was so thankful that I could just disappear into the movement and the breath. Thank god for running. I just cannot even wrap my head around the loss. Those 10 miles gave me some solace, if only it were that easy for those who have lost so much.

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  6. I keep repeating this quote to myself from Little House on the Prairie: “That’s the way you live this life, each day, one at a time. If you spend your whole life worrying about something that’s going to happen, before you know it your life is over and you spent an awful lot of it just worrying. (Laughter) Now you hear that, that’s what life’s all about. Laughing and loving each other. And knowing that people aren’t really gone when they die. We have all the good memories to sustain us until we see them again.”

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    1. This just made my day. LOVE it. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Very nice post. Your photos and words are very appropriate. Thank you for the links on how to help.

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  8. I haven't told my 5yo yet. I am not sure I can.

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    1. Yes, much harder with really young kids. Mine are older (11, 15) so it is a bit easier to have a "mature" conversation. I do think it's tough because you don't want to them to be scared and I'm not sure there is anything to say to avoid that.

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  9. I live a couple towns away from Newtown/Sandy Hook and wanted to post info on another fundraiser set up by some of the local girls who play high school soccer at the school my older daughter attended :

    http://shesrf.blogspot.com/2012/12/heartbreaking-tragedy-at-elementary.html

    We are all sickened and heartbroken here. I know it is probably selfish that it seems to hurt so much more when it happens so close by - the comment about the incident in China is true. As a mom and runner I am struggling - my runs this weekend have not really helped me feel any better. My older kids (21 and 18) are devastated and my 8 year old does not really yet understand the extent of what has happened here. Please continue to pray for all the loved ones of those who were lost and for the first responders who had to deal with the horrific scene.

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  10. I'm so heart-broken thinking of the families at this time of year. It's a terrible feeling when you can't help. What can you say to parents who lost a little 6 year old? Or their siblings, who will miss growing up with them? How can we comfort the children who were there, but survived? I don't even know how to pray for them.

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  11. Thank you for posting. It was good to read my thoughts put into words. -AmyD

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  12. I don't know yet how I am going to walk through the doors of my school tomorrow. We will have a meeting with counselors and all staff before the kids arrive to prep us on how to answer questions. I feel like such a liar - I have always told the kids these lockdowns are practice - but more than likely it will never happen to us. How can they believe my words after Friday's events?
    My heart is so heavy. The visons are too painful. And I am only a participant through the use of media. I cannot imagine the pain of those who were there or lost someone they loved that day.
    Thank you for posting the wall - I will share it with my staff.

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  13. My current part-time gig is as a playground/lunchtime supervisor at my girls' elementary school, and I can say with certainty that any one of my co-workers would gladly give his or her life to protect those of the children that we watch over, as did so many of the brave teachers at Sandy Hook. This is a tragedy of the worst kind, but as many have said, we have to remember that the goodness in this world far outweighs the evil...I still believe that, even after Friday.

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  14. I talked with my two teenage boys about this, and with typical teenage cynicism, they don't see how this could happen at their schools. I guess it is ok for them to think like that. Let me do the worrying (and worry I will!).

    I saw this quote somewhere and it really fits what you so eloquently wrote: Sometimes the only think that makes sense is the run.

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  15. I cannot imagine the anguish these parents are feeling. I have been sobbing uncontrollably since Friday. As the PTA president for our local elementary school, I greatly appreciate the links you provided. Hopefully the funds our PTA plans to donate to their PTSA will at least help take away a small layer of stress for counseling, scholarships and (I can't believe I am typing these next words) funeral expenses.

    I am going for a long run now. I am not sure I will make it very far before the tears overwhelm me again. God bless.

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  16. We had a similar horrific incident in Dunblane, Scotland back in 1996 when a man called Thomas Hamilton entered a primary school with a gun and shot dead 16 young children and their teacher. At the time I remember crying, even though I was young and had no children. Now I have a beautiful 7 year old I just can't comprehend how utterly devastating this must be for the relatives of these innocent kids. My heart goes out to every single one of them from across the Atlantic :(

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  17. May we all seek to grow closer to our own families, friends and strengthen the communities around us... There are souls whom are lost, hurting, misguided and need help. I pray that we can make a difference more of a positive change emerging from such a dark, sad event.
    Thank you for this community of striders!!! I also pray when I run.. and funny enough, have had some great 'answers' in troubling times during my time with God in stride.
    I run.... because I can ! Blessings and light to you all !!!

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Anonymous. I pray when I run too, and agree with all of your hopes for closer families and communities.

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  18. I haven't been able to look at the computer much the last few days... our kids haven't asked any questions...I feel nausea everytime it runs through my mind...what to say, what to do, and how to move forward is incomprehensible at this point. I pray for the families and those left behind. May they all find a bright light in the ones they lost.

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  19. I have yet to tell my 6 and 8 yrs old. The TV has been off when they are up so for most of the days...the newspaper is not available to them and they dont use computers yet...but I worry that tomorrow someone will say something at school....
    I am torn...to explain this myself just in case...and maybe put fears in them that they dont need to have or take a chance that nobody will say anything at school...there's 3 days left before Chbristmas break.... I am also heartbroken by this tragedy. I saw the pictures of these innocent beautiful little kids and the adults as well...I cannot understand how someone could look at these human beings and do what he did...

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  20. This is the one time I have to say... thank goodness I work retail and was gone from the Tv. I have such a heavy heart about all of this and can't wrap my mind around this horrific tragedy. I have a 6 year old and all I can do is hold him and tell him how much I love him. This is too much like a bad movie I'd never watch because I'd feel so awful after seeing it.

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  21. Running helps to get yourself together after heartbreaking news like this… It's just too awful for words.

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  22. You first photo is amazing. I ended up missing out on my work out time this weekend. My boyfriend's cousins was one of the adult victims. I probably could have used an hour by myself to help sort out feelings but being with him and his family i know means a lot more.

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  23. 26 dead... a marathon of pain. :( Mike

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  24. My heart just like yours, is broken from the tragedy. So I believe as runners we can make a difference in the lives of those affected even from afar. Please check out my latest blog post for a virtual race! Let's run together to help raise money for the families affected by this horrific act!

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  25. I ran 18 miles on Saturday and had a big lump in my throat and a heavy heart. At one point I quit talking to my running partner and just prayed. I have 3 children and couldn't imagine what those parents are going through.

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  26. I don't have kids yet, so I can't imagine being a parent and having to explain to my children what is happening when I don't even understand why. It's rough and heartbreaking.

    Down here in Tampa, we've put together a virtual run (that can be done in any city/anywhere you choose!) in memorial to this event. It's got a great sign up so far. Over 1600 have commited on the Facebook event. 100% of the registration fee/donations are goin to the families affected though United Way. They have waived any "overhead charges" to ensure that the families get as much as possible.

    I would love if you could spread the word.
    Date: January 31st
    Facebook event link: http://www.facebook.com/events/186264894845690/

    Active registration link:
    http://www.active.com/half-marathon/tampa-fl/sandy-hook-elementary-memorial-half-marathon-and-5k-2013

    There are midal/bibs, but also the option for NO medals to have your full registration fee count to the donation to UW. :-)

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  27. Sorry for all the typos. apparently my fingers are still asleep today!

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  28. It still seems surreal to me. The unbelievable cruelty. I have to choose to find good elsewhere while sill mourning the victims and Newtown community.

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  29. I'm late reading this but I do save and read your blogs. Earlier last week (before the shootings on Friday) we were notified that there is a "rumored threat of violence" to take place Dec 21 at my daughter's high school. The school & police are doing everything they can. My first response was to tell her to stay home that day. She said she'd rather be with her friends (typical teenager response). She's 17. Should I also make her stay home from the movies, shopping mall, college (next year)? I did/do talk to her about how to be as safe as possible. I offered that her friends could hang out at our house for the day too (chaperoned). As of right now she's still planning to go but that may change before Friday. She asked "what if *they* hear nobody is coming to school Friday and do it Thursday instead?" Good point. I am beyond worried... but life is for living... we can't stay locked up at home because of what-if's. Hoping for the best...

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  30. We got an email from my second grader's school today. There is a snowflake initiative. You can make a paper snowflake and send it to the Sandy Hook Elementary school. They are going to hang them up in the school to show all the children the many good people in this world who are supporting them. My whole family, even extended family, and making them. My little kids are very excited!!!

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