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.