I planned to write a holiday blog. That was my intention on December 14th, when I arrived at Panera’s for my usual Friday afternoon writing session. I’d been running around all morning, delivering cookies to a friend recuperating from surgery, going to my yoga class, to the post office to mail goody tins to family. An ordinary Friday in December.
But when I opened my lap top, I immediately saw this was no ordinary Friday. The headlines on Yahoo glared out at me. “26 Killed in Elementary School Shooting.” At first, I thought it was a hoax. I mean, how could this be possible??? But I knew in my gut that I was hoping for a miracle. It had happened, and the world had become a darker place.
That’s all I can say. There are no words to express my horror and grief…so I won’t even try.
On Saturday morning, my daughter, Leah Speer, had an op ed published in the New York Post, and with her permission, I’m going to share it with you.
After the Massacre: What We Can Know
After tragedies like the
Sandy Hook massacre or the Clackamas
shooting, you try to make sense of the world you live in. You find yourself
trying to find answers. You are needing an answer to the
Through it, you come abruptly face-to-face with what you have, what you’re so thankful for.
But you fear that you can never be sure.
You can’t be sure when you tuck them into bed tonight that they’ll be running down the stairs to climb on your lap tomorrow, way earlier than you had wished.
You can’t be sure when they roll their eyes at you in the school drop-off line after you shout “I love you” embarrassingly loud that you’ll hug their warm, soft bodies again.
These days, you can’t even be sure you’ll be returning to their soft kisses after a quick run to the mall.
So what you be sure of?
You can be sure that tonight, when the entire house is quiet and his little lips are allowing such sweetness of small breaths to exit his dreaming body, that you are so very thankful for all of your blessings. With his blue satin blanket laced between his little fingers, grab his face and kiss it — don’t be afraid that kiss might wake him!
You can be sure to let go of the three meltdowns from earlier and the spilled Crystal Light on your newly steamed carpet. When you look down at her body snuggled comfortably in her bed after she’s exerted all of the day’s energy, see the depth and the magic of her being.
Exhausted from that 2:00 a.m. wake-up call? Be sure to snuggle with your beautiful baby, hold her tighter than ever. Be sure to let go of the stress that you feel being behind on holiday shopping.
Let go of the guilt you feel when you lay in bed with your child until they fall asleep because some book told you not to. Be sure to grab your children in a tight embrace.
In the madness of an ordinary day, it’s so hard to take the time to visit those questions . . . to really take it in. The magnitude of what you truly have. Every lesson taught; every kiss sealed onto their forehead. Every “I love you” realized.
In every waking moment, be sure they know they are loved.
While your heart is aching for those affected by such horrible tragedy, pray for them. And in every single moment you wish you could have just a space to breathe, a little extra sleep, or have it be just a bit quieter — be so grateful for all that you have. And breathe . . . you be sure of that.
To all of you, I wish a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with Peace and Love.