I’m not sure how many of my readers look for my Monday Motivation messages, but I have to apologize because I just didn’t have any of that positivity coursing through my veins yesterday. The school event on Friday had, and still has, my mind blown. But I’ve taken a moment to regroup through my faith and understand that the devil has no off days so what makes me think I need one. So I’m pushing forward and giving us all some encouraging words from this crisis.
Let me begin by telling about how my Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, went:
I came into my office, excited about Friday. It was the end to my week and my desk was finally starting to clear up. As I moved through me day, I was excited about the company holiday party, ready to partake in great food and fellowship. Around 1:30/2pm I headed back to my cubicle ready to finish up a day’s work. Soon after sitting down my manager came over to discuss a current project. Towards the end of the conversation, we started to chit-chat about the events there were happening in Atlanta: a 13-year-old girl left her baby in a shoe box, in the trash, and is now being charged as an adult for manslaughter; the football player that decided not only to take his life but his mates life with his child nearby; and several other situations. It wasn’t until then that she told me about the event that unfolded in Newtown, CT. To her shocked, I knew nothing about it. Immediately I clicked to cnn.com and was shocked to see the events that had occurred. My heart broke, my eyes filled with tears and I wanted to go pick up my step-daughter immediately. 20 children lost 6 faculty members gone and a parent’s life lost. I wondered what happened to the suspect. Of course he had taken his own life, COWARD!
I was confused. Looking for answers that none of us may every find; why would a person do such a thing? Why an elementary school? Who let him in the school? How can this happen? I then remembered the other stories that my manager and I were speaking about and it brought up another set of questions; what is going on in the WORLD? How can this change or is it a lost cause?
I don’t know about you but these questions still continue to boggle my mind. But for my family, for every person that I love, I have to find a solution that can help us move forward but not forget.
I couldn’t leave my office quick enough to get home to my daughter. My eyes filled with more tears as I drove home, listening to the radio coverage. As soon as I got to the house I hugged her with everything I had and all she could say was “What wrong?” She had no clue about what the world had done. She was innocent of the day’s tragedy but aware that something was on my mind. Once I gathered myself, holding back more tears, my husband and I decided to sit down and talk to her about what occurred.
We discussed that a “bad man” entered the school and did “harm” to some kids and teachers. We told her that the suspect was “caught” but that the town was very sad. We continued to explain how important it was for her to know her surroundings and not be scared to do the right thing in any situation. We discussed the reasons to stay away from strangers and the necessity to let teachers or an adult know when something or someone looks suspicious. We reminded her what to do if anything ever happened in her school; to run and hind until a group, not a person, of officers came and found her. We ensured her that she will be safe but that she may hear other things from her friends at school and in the neighborhood.
It blew our minds that we had to have an in-depth conversation with our child about attacks on her school. We NEVER had to think about things like that, even in high school. I may have experienced people getting killed in accidents and even suicides but never mass school attacks. My how the times have change… We ended the conversation with the phrase: We have faith that you will do that right thing, if the time ever calls for it.
Faith…such strong and powerful word which at times seems to take some serious blows. But as parents, friends, family and as a society we have to keep the faith. We have to have faith that we will not only make it through tough times but that “things” will be alright.
So today I want you to have faith that good, will always prevail over evil. Recognize that this and other tragic events have created conversations with kids, families, co-workers, strangers, etc., providing a reason to spur change. We must focus on our faith and hold tight to our values and morals, not just for ourselves but for our kids and generations to come.