Last Friday I sat, heavily with a sigh, on my couch with a paint brush in hand.
I had been painting a special sign for a courageous young woman. After stenciling the first coat of paint for the words that tell the story of her life, I went to my computer to check email and work on a design. Facebook was up on my screen from earlier. The top item on the news feed was something about a tragedy in Connecticut. I walked to the family room, paint brush in hand, and turned on the CNN. What I saw and heard, as we all know, was horrific. 2 hours later I still sat there.... frozen with sadness, fear and heartache. My paint brush still in my grips...now dry and useless.
Many thoughts have run through my head since Friday's senseless shooting in Connecticut. Several things I feel very strongly about and thought, very seriously, about blogging on (including one that was done and ready to hit "publish" till my gut told me otherwise).
I could write about how I feel about gun control issues.
I could write about how I feel about people's views (like Mike Huckabee) about God being "taken out of schools".
I could write about how I feel about the challenges mental health patients and their families face in this country.
I could write about many things.....
Instead of all those things....all good topics, but all controversial divisive ones..... I have chose to write about something else all together.
Life. Living your life.
Two of my favorite movies are Field of Dreams & Steel Magnolias. I could watch them over and over and always get goosebumps when I hear The Voice speak to Ray Kinsella or laugh right out loud listening to Ouiser Boudreaux be grumpy and sassy! My favorite movie quotes come from these two films.
Dr. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham:
We just don't recognize life's most significant moments while they're happening.
Back then I thought, "Well, there'll be other days". I didn't realize that that was the only day.
I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.
The parents of the children who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary won't have "other days", but hopefully they had more than "thirty minutes of wonderful".
The loved ones of the brave adults who risked their lives, and lost, won't share "other days" with them, but hopefully they recognized many of "life's significant moments"
This always happens. A tragedy that makes us all shake our heads, cry and wonder "Why?". We live in the moment, savoring all that is truly important to us........for a short while. Then back to our normal lives.
Working... Cleaning... Painting(for me).
Cooking dinner.... Folding laundry.... Signing school papers.
Grocery shopping.... Running errands.
The busy-ness of life. And life's most significant moments pass us by because we have lost focus on living our lives. LIVING our lives.
I say "I love you" to my kids every time they walk out the door. Every time.
I am sure they don't think about it...as it has become a habit... a routine.... a normal moment.
But it isn't normal to me...it is significant.
And that is what I told my 11 year old on Friday afternoon.
I knew that Luke would be hearing of the shootings and wanted him to hear it from me.
I told him about what happened (without a ton of detail) and he asked "Why?".
I told him....
"I don't know why this happened. I wish I did know. But I just don't.
But there are a few things that I do know.
I KNOW that I love you.
I KNOW that Dad loves you.
I KNOW that many, many, many people love you.
I KNOW that every day when you leave for school, or practice, or just to play outside with pals I tell you I love you because I want you to KNOW that.
I KNOW that you are one amazing young man who I am lucky to love.
I also KNOW that God loves you and is with you always.
I KNOW that if something happened to you tomorrow I would be heartbroken, but I would KNOW you are with God and I would be ok.
I KNOW that if something happened to me tomorrow you would be very sad, but I would be with God and you would be ok. It wouldn't be easy or fun...but with the comfort and strength of God we would be ok.
So, we can't live our lives being afraid that something bad will happen. We have to live our lives KNOWING how blessed we are and living that out."
Luke and I both had a bit of tears welled up in our eyes and we hugged each other tight.
It was a significant moment.
It wasn't 30 minutes, more like 7 minutes....but it was something quite special.
That sign I was making when I sat down in my family room?
It is finished now and I hope that when this young woman looks at it she is reminded of her significant moments. Her much more than 30 minutes of something wonderful.
Her life. What a blessing.
May you KNOW that you that every time you walk out your door,you are loved.
May you recognize the significant moments.
May you get at least 7 minutes of something special.
May we not return so quickly to the busy-ness of our lives.
May we live our lives....fully & aware.
May we all remember the lives that were lost on Friday...and change.