Blogversation 2012: Has the Newtown tragedy changed you?

Throughout this year, several bloggers will engage in a conversation here and on their blogs — asking questions of each other and responding. Others are absolutely welcome to join the conversation, as well. Learn more about the ladies of Blogversation 2012.

Today’s question comes from Kay Hoffman Goluska, who blogs at Pen on Pointe.  She’s @PenOnPointe on Twitter.

Kay Hoffman Goluska wants to know how the Newtown shootings affected you

The original topic I had in mind, which I had mulled over in my head for a while seems rather trite in the face of the grief so many are experiencing over the Newtown tragedy.

Sure, life must go on – but I decided it might just be simpler to discuss some real issues that are weighing heavily on our minds right now.  Given the types of discussions I have had with friends recently – ranging from religion, violence in history, gun control, mental health issues and the like – I thought I would propose we have a heart to heart about this.

I know from my own experience that the grief you feel after the death of a loved one is a lingering pain that crops up unexpectedly and seems to drag on endlessly.  I cannot possibly fathom what the people of Newtown are experiencing, and my heart goes out to them.  This is beyond tragic.  It is horrific.  I wish to God it had never happened, but the sad fact it has.  So the question I have for you is:  “What do we do now?”
When all of this occurred I was in the midst of preparing for our opening night of our dance school’s performance of the Nutcracker.  I didn’t allow the shock of what happened sink in until later, but as I was walking on stage, looking around at all the children involved I was struck by how much I love mankind.  How much I loved these little kids, sometimes hellions, that make up my life.  I turned to see my 4 children lined up in the wings, preparing to dance, act, and perform for a crowd.  It was all I could do to stop myself from running over to hug them, fighting the urge to touch them.  I met the eyes of some of the other adults and I knew they were thinking much the same thing.

What will I do?  I won’t take what is in my life for granted again.  I have even found myself shaking off the impatience I sometimes feel with my children.  I have tried to actually bend down to their level, look them in the eyes, give them my love.  I have taken the time to tell people I appreciate them, or find something complementary about them to discuss.  It has reaffirmed my belief that life is too short to get caught up in the little stuff, but to focus on what matters.  To love and be loved.

Whether you have children or not, it is hard not to be affected by the current events.

Has the Newtown tragedy changed you? What will you do now?

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Categories: health and well being, home and family, lifestyle

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4 replies

  1. Your second-to-last paragraph, Kay, is very much what I’ve experienced as well. I’m trying harder to get down to my kids’ level, to give them my full attention when they want to tell me something, to put down my dishtowel or whatever and look them in the eye. It’s amazing what a difference it makes, almost immediately. They’re less whiny, more calm, more agreeable. You’d think I’d know this after nearly nine years of parenting, but it’s a lesson I seem to have to learn again and again.

    Even though regular life marches on, I’m so very, very sad since this happened. I think my emotions are a little raw.

  2. The morning of the shootings, my four-year-old son was hysterically crying as I was trying to leave the house because he wanted to give me one more hug. I was beyond annoyed. I was late, and he uses this stalling technique frequently. I will never, ever again refuse his request for one more hug.

    • This sent shivers up my spine – and I don’t even have kids. After all the media, talking heads and debate over the “could have/should have/what now?” … this is a sobering reminder of the love between a parent and child and how it can be cherished. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I am forcing myself to look for signs of hope in all the chaos. I wrote about one experience I had this week here: http://thelivingstonpost.com/the-angel-wore-sparkling-shoes/

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