It’s taking me a while to figure all this out, and I still don’t know what to do or how to do it. There is no handbook for the aftermath of ... after.
what will people say? what if someone gets hurt? i have a responsibility. protect my friends. promote change. advocate. advocate. keep private. speak up. be quiet. protest. go home. talk about it. say nothing. hug. hide. what will Newtown think? what if no one reads? what if everyone reads?
I want to give up and go back to before: writing snarky commentary on suburban crisis, bad parenting, cool teenagers, work-at-home quandary, and the many moments of beautiful nothing that culminate into what has been, thus far, a pretty good life.
But that was before. And now there’s no going back.
A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. ~ Elbert Hubbard
Like much of the town, like much of the world, I need to do something. Doing nothing is no longer acceptable. Doing nothing lets people forget. Lets them move on, until the next one. And Newtown knows all too well there will be a next one if we don't advocate for conversation.
. . . We're on a long overdue family vacation, and a fellow camper, a very nice man, a Connecticut native from West Hartford now calling Boston home, asks where in Connecticut we live.
"I grew up in Connecticut! Sooo, where you guys from?"
Green Sandy Hook bracelets cover my forearms. My teenagers are head-to-toe in Newtown High sweats. A Newtown tribute is tattooed proudly on the calf of my rather attractive husband.
"Now that sounds very familiar ... now where is that? I feel like I should know where that is. What is it about Newtown ... Newtown...Newtown? Um, where is that again? On the shore? Geesh, why does that so familiar?"
So I’m going forward. Reluctantly, not knowing if words can make a difference but not knowing what else to do, and I will not let people forget.
And selfishly, I feel lighter when I write. Since December, the world has just been so heavy it’s been difficult to breathe.
The greatest mistake you can make in life is continually fearing that you'll make one. ~Elbert Hubbard
Another camper told me: "We need to hear these stories. We need to hear your stories. It makes it very, very real. Like it really happened."
So with strange unsolicited encouragement of strangers, I’m going to write. About suburban crisis, bad parenting, cool teenagers, work-at-home dilemmas, schools, cancer, guns, mental health, and the reality that is Newtown. The reality that is every town.
So that you don’t forget that this town is your town. And our pain, and healing, is real.