Sunday, December 16, 2012

Where Do We Go From Here?

'Tis the season to be merry and jolly. Look everywhere. The signs are there. The lights, decorations, gifts and songs. There is of course the real reason for this season. We all understand this. It is time to be full of faith and spend our days with family and friends.

So the news that we all received on Friday seems to be especially devastating. This news would be heartbreaking at any time of the year. But during the holidays it is especially poignant. Twenty children were shot down in cold blood. Babies. And six people trying to protect these babies. Shot down.

I cannot imagine being one of the parents waiting to find out the fate of their child. The absolute fear they must have felt. And then there is the joy and relief of those who were reunited with their family members. And there will possibly be some guilt that these people feel. They are neighbors of those who have great loss. Permanent loss.

So where do we go from here? Truly I believe that waking up, breathing, hugging our loved ones, eating, working and resting are where we go from here. We need to continue to live. In honor of those who can't. We need to love our neighbors now, later and all of the in-between. This week in their time of need and months from now when seemingly life has returned to normal. For those who have had a loved one killed, life will never again be normal.

Days, months or weeks from now we may find ourselves wanting to do more. We may want to take more action. Help find a solution to the enormous problem. We might lobby and sign petitions. We may talk about and educate ourselves on the topic of mental health issues. Hearts have been broken in this horrific time. But broken hearts are still able to beat and sustain life. This is a miracle. Let us be kind to each other, allow memories to be alive and let us carry on with grace.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Seeing Red On Black Friday

Please, mom, please. Those of you who are moms know these words well. We hear them when our beautiful offspring want something from us. Usually when we don't want to give it.

So, a few weeks ago, Gracie was planning, researching and warming me up to the idea of Black Friday shopping. Of course friends were enlisted. The pressure was on. And after a day of family, laughter and lots of turkey, we went to the mall a bit before midnight. Crazy, right? Oh yeah.

Their first destination was PINK for the half price yoga pants. Our three girls and about 400-500 others. There was a group of young men chanting, "let us in." There were four security guards present. But look at the odds. An unruly crowd up against four guys? Come on. Kids were starting to push and shove. We texted our girls and told them to get out of line. Then came the fire marshall. He asked that the crowd line up in an orderly fashion. Not happening. These people were nuts. All for yoga pants. In came the police. I saw four, but heard that there were six police officers there at one time.

More pushing and shoving. This is crazy. Gracie wasn't answering my texts. Worry set in. And annoyance, too. My feet were being stepped on and I was being shoved into a kiosk. I said to a friend, maybe I should say that another store, way down the mall from here, is giving away free jeans and the crowd will lighten up some. Well, I was overheard by a few of the pushers and shovers. Where? Where are the free jeans, they asked. Well, it was one in the morning, I was a little tired and cranky, so I told them where this fabulous, ficticious deal was. A few took the bait and more room was made for us. I do feel a bit badly about spreading a false rumor. I hoped that they indeed did find a good deal or two. To make myself feel better, I reasoned that these were some rude and pushy young folk and for their safety and mine, we were all better off.

In the end we heard that the store PINK shut down for almost an hour. We left with a few deals and a promise that we made to ourselves. We will never see red on Black Friday again. I would much rather dream of sugarplums dancing in my head.