2017-04-03

I only realized this afternoon that, with a family gathering last night for a bite and some beer, I’d completely forgotten to journal yesterday. This was only the second day of my recommitting to journal every day. As letting go is a big theme for me these days, onward and upward.

It’s a funny thing, committing to doing something daily, no matter. There will come days you simply can’t do that thing, and others (hopefully very few) where you forget for some reason, and others still where you’re sick or otherwise indisposed.

And then, what to write? Some days something will occur that makes your topic crystal clear. A joyous, sad or otherwise noteworthy occurrence driving a story that pretty much writes itself. It may have been a mistake or it may have been serendipitous, but I just happened to start watching a documentary as I began journaling tonight. I can’t add much to the linked blockquote below, just that since I began watching I can’t think of anything else.

From PBS:

On December 14, 2012, a disturbed young man committed a horrific mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that took the lives of 20 schoolchildren and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Filmed over the course of nearly three years, Kim A. Snyder’s searing documentary Newtown uses deeply personal, never-before-heard testimonies to tell the story of …

I remember the day in late 2012 like it was yesterday. It may as well have happened last Christmas. I don’t think you need to be a parent to have an idea of what it would be like to lose a child, particularly in that manner. If you are, though, I can’t see how something like this doesn’t absolutely gut you. Very difficult and, at least for me, very necessary watching.

In case you’ve forgotten Barack Obama’s public reaction …

However, it was what he did privately for the families that has stuck with me, since I read about it. The scenario below apparently repeated over and over for hours, for rooms full of the families of slain children.

Person after person received an engulfing hug from our commander in chief. He’d say, “Tell me about your son. . . . Tell me about your daughter,” and then hold pictures of the lost beloved as their parents described favorite foods, television shows, and the sound of their laughter. For the younger siblings of those who had passed away—many of them two, three, or four years old, too young to understand it all—the president would grab them and toss them, laughing, up into the air, and then hand them a box of White House M&M’s, which were always kept close at hand. In each room, I saw his eyes water, but he did not break.

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