Never Doubt That One Life Can Make a Difference

Posted on | December 16, 2012 | 4 Comments

On Friday, I picked J up early for a trip to the doctor then took him back to work with me for the afternoon.  When the news came in about what happened in Connecticut, he was firmly ensconced in my lap, watching videos on the iPod while I sobbed quietly onto my keyboard. All day, I thought about what I would or could write to make sense of this or to pour my feelings out about what happened in Newtown.  All weekend, I wrung my heart and hands and wondered why I would even bother to say anything when words couldn’t possibly do anything other than sit, inanimate, and stare back at me with no answers and no end to my tears.

When you’re a parent, hearing about other parents losing their babies is the worst thing in the world.  When you’re a parent, knowing that there are dolls and trucks and games, lovingly wrapped and labeled that will never be opened on Christmas morning feels like being kicked in the gut and the lungs and yes, the heart, with steel toed boots.  But you know that, don’t you? Because you, like me, are probably a parent who wanted to vomit into your work trash can even as you thanked every higher being you could think of for the fact that your child was not lying still and breathless on that cold classroom floor.

So I thought a long time before I let myself even start to come here to put my emotions into words. And now that I’m here, I realize the truth… there is no way to put this into words.  There is no reason to even try to put this into words.  There are bloggers and journalists and ministers who will be able to eloquently give words to the fears and hurt that weigh on my heart…. for me, though, I am too scared to let my words take me to that place.   I can not allow myself to imagine the heartache and soul crushing “Whys” that 20 parents are feeling and to try to do so feels like I’m taking something away from them that is only theirs to feel, only theirs to give voice to.

Yet I feel compelled to write, anyway, to say something to make some sense for myself and for my child.  I feel compelled to do something to quell the tears and soften the sharpened knives of hurt that are piercing the collective parental conscience of this country.  And what I’ve decided is simply this:

When everything is wrong, when evil threatens to choke out the light of every pure heart… that is the time, that is past the time, for good to make a stand.  When the news is telling me of death and anger and fear… that is the time, that is past the time, for me to tell my son about life and love and courage.  When my twitter feed is full of angst and heartache, that is the time, that is past the time, for me to fill my own life with compassion and healing.

There is so much heartache.  There is so much sadness.  And I am just one person… just one more broken heart… unless I let myself be more…. unless we let ourselves be so much more.  It shouldn’t take something like this to remind us that we can make our own news.  It shouldn’t take 26 lost lives to spark in us the desire to be better, to be more, for the sake of good.  On the side of good.

But if what happened in Newtown has reminded me of anything good, it is this: one person can make a tremendous difference.  If one angry and misguided person can temporarily destroy the hope of a nation, then what could one good and hope-filled life do? What if, instead of being broken, we use this to become the people we COULD be… the people we should aspire to be… the heroes.  Will we be plastered across CNN? No, of course not… because ours is a nation obsessed with the hatred and evil acts of others.  But we can be front page in the lives of our children and our communities.  We can be a force for good in the face of evil… we can bring hope back to a hopeless world.

I can’t bring 20 children back to their parents.  I wish I could, but I can’t.  But what I can do is fight on the side of good.  I can take the resources I have and do good in my community in the hopes that others will do good in theirs and then maybe, just maybe, we can remind this nation that we’re more than our evil half.  Maybe we can remind each other of another young girl who lost her life too soon but who held on to hope and light even in the face of great adversity.

In the words of Anne Frank:  “think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”  Then take your happiness and spread it to others.  Join with me in spending the rest of this year and the rest of your life doing Random Acts of Kindness for Newtown.  Let’s remind everyone that for every one “bad guy” there are a million light of heart, ready to be the heroes we were born to be.

Because WE are still here.  And because we should feel obligated to outshine the evil and fill the world with a little more hope.


4 Responses to “Never Doubt That One Life Can Make a Difference”

  1. The Dose of Reality
    December 16th, 2012 @ 10:24 am

    Stunning. Perfectly written and captures exactly how I am feeling. Thank you.

  2. Law Momma
    December 16th, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    Thanks, friend. We’re all in this together… for better or worse… so might as well strive for better.

  3. Lola M.
    December 16th, 2012 @ 11:31 pm


  4. Adamsday
    December 29th, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

    wow, very touching and so so true.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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