In response to yesterday's tragedy in Connecticut, words fail. I can only say that my heart continues to be heavy and deeply burdened.
I say it here almost daily. As mom's 'we're all just doing out best.'
And I believe that. We are doing the very best that we can do. But as I turned my thoughts inward over the last 24 hours it became very clear to me that in total truth we can all truly do better. Isn't it so?
Don't be offended. Instead, agree.
Can't we dance longer?
Can't we snuggle more?
Can't we listen more intently?
Can't we teach in everything we do?
Can't we hug tighter?
Can't we be more patient, more accepting, more focused?
Can't we put our phones down and log out of facebook?
Can't we stop texting and answering when the calls come?
Can't we lock the doors and say no to distractions?
We've seen so much heartache and too much tragedy. We are a generation of mom's who have seen our fair share of pain among other mother's. And yet it takes this to remind us to 'cherish our children.' It takes this to shake us out of the mundane and love a little harder. I would normally say that it's ok.
But it is just. not. ok.
I am learning, just like I am proclaiming with rare disease, that none of us are exempt from tragedy and loss. Cliche or not, we should be living every moment with our children as if it is our last.
There is very little that matters as much as the tiny moments with our children; the moments that matter to them and that make memories for us. For so long in our parenting we tried desperately to be 'yes' parents. We tried letting go of the minor things that we used to fault our children for and instead we focused on teaching them matters of the heart. We tried so hard and we failed often.
And then came Mabel. With Mabel came talk of disease and ultimately of death.
Death makes anyone re-think their actions and their priorities.
Death makes us cherish life.
Death is something that we see, feel, experience. Yet death comes and goes, often quickly.
Life, which is typically long and lasting is less often experienced with such a vibrancy.
It should be. We are desperate for it to be more and yet we fall short.
We all do.
And the things that we are substituting for those little moments with our children are meaningless.
They will all pass away.
Tonight I'm simply saying, mom to mom-
we can all do better.
We must not wait until tragedy strikes to open our eyes and enjoy our children and this life fully. We have one life. We do not know the hour or the day when it will be over. That is heart wrenching and frightening. It's unfathomable to most of us.
Tomorrow, tell jokes with your children.
Tie their shoes even if they know how.
Feed them ice cream for lunch.
Let them stay up a little longer.
Play hide n' seek.
Kiss them over and over and over (and then again while they are sleeping.)
Nurse your baby a little longer.
Take your time brushing her hair.
Listen closely when you hear their laughter.
Stop talking to your friends and answer their questions.
Turn off your phone. Plug in to them.
Bake a cake together and eat the icing. Alot of it.
Do a puzzle.
Talk about life.
Do all of that and more. But do it every day, not just because you are reminded of death today.
Many mommy's tonight would give their own lives to do any one of these things with their babies just one more time.
So make the time in their honor.
Love your kids with a fierceness and don't ever stop trying to do a little bit better each day.
Our God is unchanging and I believe that when this life passes from us, He remains.
Tonight I am praying for the families of this awful tragedy. Please take the time to look up the names of the children. They deserve to be prayed for by name.
Also keep in your prayers those families who suffer loss each and every day due to disease and other awful tragedies. We all suffer pain, and loss. It might actually be the one thing that truly connects each of us. These families need our support and love every day.