Note: I started writing this very random post a couple of weeks ago. I'm still not sure exactly what it is I want to say. Words cannot describe how much this tragedy has hurt me, and I didn't even know these people. I can only hope and pray that God will take the bad and turn it into something good.
As I dropped Josh off at school on Wednesday morning, his friends immediately began swarming around him. They were so happy to see each other after the long holiday break. As I looked at their young, happy faces, I couldn't help but imagine what the kids of Sandy Hook Elementary would be feeling when they returned to school. All I can do is pray that they find all the comfort and support they need when they go back. It will be a long road recovering from the trauma and the loss.
Several people have been sharing photos of comfort dogs at the schools in Newtown, and I read an amazing testimony by a woman on Facebook who owns one of the comfort dogs. One of the women at my church launched a "Prayer Bear" campaign, and I heard that they are bringing smiles to some of the families. I was so thankful that my cousin got us a connection there and that we can do something to help, even if it's not as big as we'd like. Michelle's testimony was powerful, as well. God is hard at work in that town. Love is winning.
Scouting is big in Newtown, and my young cousin, Brooke, is involved as a Girl Scout. She and her troop are going to be taking the surviving Daisies -- only about half of the two troops from S.H.E.S. are left -- under their wings. I couldn't think of a better role model than Brooke. She's always such a positive girl, and wise beyond her years, and I am sure her fellow scouts are just as amazing. She was featured in an article in the Washington Post. I'm so proud.
It's been over a month now since the tragedy, and I still cry every time I see one of those precious angels' faces. Josh has been making some random statements about death lately. The other day, while walking into school, we were having a normal conversation until he stopped and said "I don't know why little guys go to Heaven. They have little energies." And then he resumed normal conversation, not bothered by this thought at all. I'm not sure he completely understands what it means, and maybe he's trying to figure it out. I don't know. As far as I know, no one has said anything to him about the shooting, but you never know where kids pick things up. Another day, he told me about this boy, whose "pieces" were broken up (he was pulling on his face, as to make it look distorted). But, he said, God brought the boy to His house, and fixed him up, "good as new." He was so happy about this. I loved his hope and trust that God will make everything better and new. And I believe it, too.
There was a wonderful concert last night that my cousins were fortunate enough to be able to attend with their friends, which featured several Christian speakers and artists in a night of "Hope and Healing." I really hope it helped a lot of people. It was amazing to see all of the people there singing along, and in the chat room online seeing all of the people joining together to watch. I hope all of those people were inspired to bring some light into the world, and pass it on, so no one has to ever go through the darkness alone. We all need God, and we need each other. If anything good comes out of this, I hope it's that we all learn to treat each other better, with respect and concern. I saw it for a while after 9/11, but I hope we will not forget it this time.
I spent this past weekend in the next town over from Newtown, at another cousin's baby shower. It was so great to celebrate this new life with them, and to be with my family. We are so blessed. I just want to be grateful for everything I have right now.
"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." - John Donne