Last weekend, at my daughter’s gymnastics meet, I sat next to a very friendly woman and we began to chat. When she asked where our team was from and I answered “Newtown,” I braced myself for the sympathy, pity or whatever else might come up at the mention of our town. Instead of the pained expression so many people get when I say where we are from, she said “We moved to Connecticut from Newtown, Pennsylvania. So we have a connection to Newtown.”
Then she paused and said “I guess we all have a connection to Newtown now.” I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that. We all have a connection to Newtown now. Yes, we do: we must.
This weekend is Mother’s day and once again, even for those of us who are a few degrees of separation from those who experienced the worst on December 14th, the pain is real and fresh and alive again and the tears are once again flowing.
I know there are many who say “It’s time to move on, it’s time to get back to ‘normal’ life.” And there is a part of me that understands that sentiment, but I also believe that if we try to forget and bury the shock and upset we will be not only dishonoring the memory of those children and educators, but also paving the way for more senseless violence.
The time to make a change is Now. And every one of us, everyone is capable of making a difference. Please don’t try to forget. Please don’t pretend that ‘normal’ is better. Find ways, big and small, where you can make a difference, where you can cultivate a culture of life. Please do all you can to prevent tragedies like December 14th from ever happening again. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to the Moms. We owe it to our children.