What is Easter like in Newtown, Connecticut this year?

It’s hard not to think today about the parents of the children who died in Newtown shortly before Christmas.  Now it’s Easter and I wonder how the residents of Newtown are managing to focus on the celebration of the holiday without those children.

I know the Easter bunny still made an appearance and brought joy to those children who survived the shooting.  Still I can’t imagine the pain being endured by those who lost their small sons and daughters to senseless violence.

Every day it seems like there is a new story about the use of assault weapons in this country.  This morning it was about yesterday’s shooting in Texas.  I support the right of anyone to own a handgun for protection, but I still cannot fathom the need for assault weapons.  It’s hard to hear so many adults talk about their rights in the light of the loss of those children’s rights to a safe and protected environment.

This Easter tends to be a sad one for me.  I won’t be together with my children and grandchildren going on an Easter egg hunt, searching for Easter baskets, or enjoying a leisurely Easter brunch.  It’s also the day before the death of my sister eight years ago.  On March 31 of that year, I was seated at the bedside of my sister watching her take her final breaths after a courageous battle with cancer.

What I really need to remember, however, is what is left to be joyful about.  I will visit my mother in the nursing home, email my daughter vacationing in Hawaii, and talk countless times to my oldest daughter on the telephone, a daughter who never fails to bring me a special kind of joy.   I still have my daughters and granddaughters, unlike many of those residents of Newtown, Connecticut.  I hope we don’t ever forget what happened there.  I hope we don’t ever stop extending random acts of kindness to others.  I hope we don’t ever forget to cherish every minute we have with family and friends.  It can all end far too soon.


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