Our spirits are strong

Our hearts are broken but our spirits are strong – one of the many signs hanging in Newtowne, Connecticut for all to see – after Friday’s devastating tragedy of 20 children and 7 adults killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary school.

A national tragedy such as this shakes all of us at our core.  As parents, we seek to shelter and protect our children and trust that they are safe.  When that trust is shattered by such a horrific act of violence, all of us are left feeling very vulnerable.

Yet, even in the face of this tragic loss, the strength, the courage, the commitment, the heroism demonstrated by those professionals in charge of these elementary students is remarkable.

And this is essential for all to focus on.

On Friday when I heard this devastating news, after finishing up a bright and fun Play Shoppe morning, I was numb and disbelieving.  How could something like this happen?

Over the weekend, watching and listening to reports, the total despair I experienced began to lift.  I felt the agony and the pain of this close knit community, but also the bravery, sacrifice, passion, love and determination that shone through.

As one father of a little girl who died in her 1st grade classroom bravely stated, he couldn’t allow this tragedy to define his daughter’s precious life.  He would have to reach very deep to keep the spirit of his little girl alive in him.  She was his inspiration and he could not let her down.

Dawn Hochsprung was the principal at Sandy Hook School.  She died trying to overpower the gunman and keep her students safe.  Dawn Hochsprung was a passionate leader to her elementary students, parents said.  She had a mantra that she had them learn and repeat – ” I am safe, responsible, respectful and prepared.”  And at the end of every morning’s school announcements, she would tell them to “be kind to one another.  That is the most important thing you can do.”

I believe these young children who made it out of their Sandy Hook Elementary School alive on Friday, will do just that – be kind to one another. And that may be the answer.

For our own families, that’s the best we can do.  Help your children to be kind to one another – as they see you being kind to them, and others.  A tragic event like this always goes personal -” what would I ever do?”  I found these words a long time ago and wrote them down –

If our world should grow dark, and there is no way of seeing or knowing, give us courage and trust, to touch and be touched, to find our way onwards by feeling.

Their hearts are broken but their spirits are strong.

If your child appears worried or concerned about his/her safety and you would like to know how best to help him/her, give me a call at The Parenting Place, 784-8125.  I’d like to talk with you.

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