Saturday December 15, 2012

Going to take a crack at getting some thoughts out.  I am struggling this week to make sense of it all.

This was a tough week even before the news broke of the shootings in Newtown CT.  Now I am really having a tough time shaking the images in my mind of the terror, the shock, the mass grieving that is taking place today.  I can't watch the news.  I am not stable enough at this time to try to absorb the horror or to piece together a political opinion.  Wait, I've got a couple; if you sell weapons (legally or illegally), how can you not look in the eye of your customer and ask "what do you have in mind here fella?"  And if the Second Amendment of our Constitution was written when there were assault rifles and automatic weapons would it include the same protections?  Of course, most of us want to fit the blame into a tidy little box and move on.  It's really complicated.

Prayers that we have reached a tipping point.  Prayers for these 28 families who are going to be struggling to ever feel Christmas joy again.  Prayers that the anger can be diagnosed sooner.

One-at-a-time, Jen, Erin and I have each taken the time to assess our mental condition and the results have been the same; we are fragile, we are survivors of a nightmare and we need help.  Acceptance of this condition is hard.  I have to remind myself asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

I traveled through some airports this week and had time to listen to my music with my headphones on with the busy world bustling by all around me (think O'Hare H terminal).  The combination of music and memories of Shannon and the people in our lives opened a faucet of tears. People looking into my eyes had to be wondering "what's his problem?".  I made no attempt to hide my tears.  I didn't care.

Also this week, I watched the Sandy Relief concert from New York with performances from Bruce, Pink Floyd (Roger Waters), The Who, The Stones, Billy Joel... those were my peeps.  Each performed songs attached to so many memories of a carefree youth.  And at the same time they were playing to raise money for people who have lost everything.  I know I tend to quickly move on from tragedy but there is still major suffering on the Jersey coast, parts of NY.

For this family, our daily reflections include a one-year-ago-today look back.  A year ago today, Shannon was being pushed around the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital campus in a wheelchair for blood draws.   Still an active participant in a clinical trial.  Still hopeful.  Still alive.

I'm not sure how I can tie it all together.  I can't.  It's messy.  But we all know someone that has suffered tremendous loss in their lives.  Just remember, they are still living with that loss everyday.  You may have moved on but they never will.

OK, that's pretty heavy-duty.  Just an awareness I live with today.  I think I am grateful for that awareness.