Back home, in Boise, everyone is posting on Facebook and Twitter about all of the snow the weekend brought them. I’ve been texted and emailed photos of kids playing and building snow friends. We have snow here, but nothing like it seems most others stateside have.
As we’ve only been in Michigan for 9 months, I’m still a bit awe-struck with just how much our lives have changed. Just around the corner from another major holiday, life sort of screams the obviousness of it. Self pity once again sets in, but then I remember this exact week last year and all forms of self-pity stop.
On December 14, 2012, I was stocking stuffer shopping while Genny wrapped up a Science lab class. I had just gotten in the car and was headed to wait for her 8th grade lab to get out when my NPR station started broadcasting about the Sandy Hook shooting. As reports came in about teachers barricading their classes in bathrooms, or other teachers laying their lives down as shields for innocent children, my heart shattered. Through the window I could see a class of laughing 7th and 8th graders taking sheer pleasure out of learning, while flooding the air around me was unimaginable agony. Just over a week before the day most children deem the most magical day of the year- parents lost babies, children are scarred with images of best friends bloodied and gone forever. Christmas ruined, December ruined. Life altered and never, ever, ever the same again.
There is so much evil in the world. We hear about it all of the time. We decided, as a family, to try to be a kindness. Are we perfect? No. Do we fail? Sure. But we try.
Last year we successfully (though it was a STRUGGLE) managed 26 random acts of love/kindness in memory of those 26 lives taken in Sandy Hook. It was such a memorable, (emotional, rewarding and honestly, a little difficult) experience that we decided to continue the tradition as a part of our Christmas advent season.
It doesn’t cost much to spread love and be kind, and it costs nothing to remember… But to the world, who sometimes forgets too easily, it can be more meaningful than we could ever imagine. Will you join us by spreading kindness and love this week?