Friday’s tragedy left me speechless. I cannot even begin to process my thoughts right now. All I know is that I feel such incredible sorrow, and such incredible hope, at the same time. How? The sorrow part is easy to explain. I know we’re all feeling that way for everyone that was affected by this. The hope part is still a little confusing, even to me. I know it was sparked by Haley’s article. Somehow, deep down, even in the darkest of times, there is always hope. There is always a reason to keep trying. There is always goodness. Twenty-eight people lost their lives, but it was not in vain.
The sentiment I kept hearing, from friends, family, across social media, and even from the President, was that we would all be hugging our children a little tighter; we would be even more grateful this season. I know this was true in our house. I heard the news around noon, while I was still at work. I held back sobs, sitting at my desk stunned. I contemplated rushing home, picking up my little boy and never letting him out of my sight, but I had to work to do. I went about my tasks, but could think of nothing else. Those last five hours had to have been at least five years. But at least my son was there when I got home.
More than ever before, we need to find the joy in the little things in our lives, because sometimes the difficulties of life are just too much. Contemplating the evil that could lurk in the world is too much. Trying to understand even an eighth of the pain of the Sandy Brook parents is too much. Realizing how completely vulnerable our children are is just too much. But it doesn’t have to be. All it takes to break the darkness is a single light.
On my way home, I had no idea how I was going to face my son. At first I felt so guilty. Why was I given the chance to come home to my child, when other parents were not? Like I said before, even in the darkest of times, there is always hope. There is always love. As I walked in the door, I was greeted by my son, smiling, yelling, “Mommy!” as he raced up to give me a hug. Completely oblivious to the evil, and sickness, and heartbreak in our world. And for that, I am grateful.
Our time on Earth is fleeting. It is scary to think that the people we love can be taken from us in a moment. When I step back and really comprehend this reality, I get overwhelmed.
I cannot comprehend losing a child.
I don’t think anyone can, until they have to.
What I can comprehend is making the most of every day. Loving the little things in life, as if each day was our last. Teaching my son to value and appreciate life. Raising him to find joy in the simple things. To live life meaningfully.
These are the things I can comprehend.
These are the things I can do.
I cannot ease anyone’s pain. I cannot bring those angels back from heaven. But I can honor their memory, and the memory of every child whose life was cut too short, by treasuring the life I have in front of me. Not squandering it. There will be bad days. There will be difficult days. There will never be a day when I take this life for granted.
Join Haley, Molly, my mom, and I as we find joy in the little things this Advent season. Take the time to savor the waiting, find peace in the quiet, and cherish the wonder of life that is all around us, every day.
Welcome to the third week of Advent! We have truly enjoyed reading all of your link ups. Please keep them coming! Make sure to check out your fellow link uppers (is that the appropriate term? it is now!) from the first and second week of Advent. We’re hosting the link up this week, and we wanted to point out some great posts from last week:
- Kind old man Saint Nicholas dear by Nicole of Frontier Dreams
- Advent Week 2: Peace by Sarah of Two Ortizes Plus More
- Have a Simpler Holiday Season Without Being a Wizard by Molly of Molly Makes Do
- Simple Stocking Stuffers for Ages 0-5 by Sarah of Two Ortizes Plus More
- Keeping Advent Daily from My Cozy Nook
We are three Catholic bloggers who love to observe the liturgical year to deepen our families’ faith and build up the domestic church. We would love to hear about your family’s celebrations and traditions! Please join us in “redeeming the time” in this Year of Faith by sharing your posts about feast days, liturgical seasons, etc. in this new linkup. We are starting at the beginning of the Liturgical Year: The Season of Advent!
Some topics we would be excited to read about during the Advent and Christmas seasons are (but not limited to!):
- Sustainability and Responsible Gift Giving/Food
- Food & Recipes
- Simple Holiday traditions, crafts and activities
- Reflections on the seasons
- Teaching and Learning about the Christian Year with Children
This link up will be up until Thursday evening. We will be tweeting our favorite posts, and pinning them on our Little HolyDays Pinterest board.
If you are sharing your article on Twitter (please do!) be sure to mention Haley, Molly, or us, and use the hashtag #LittleHolyDays! We also have a Twitter list of bloggers that link up with Little HolyDays, and we’d love to add you to it!
For the three of us, this link up is a way in which we plan on exploring and deepening our Catholic faith, but we would really love to hear from bloggers of all denominations.
We welcome you to share your own feast, festivals, and celebrations that fall within each week of December. Celebrations for this week might include Chanukah, the Feast of St. Lucy, or any of your Advent or Winter Holiday traditions.
As moderators of this link up, we will reserve the right to remove any offensive or off-topic posts as we see fit, in order to maintain a positive and understanding atmosphere.
Be sure to visit our co-hosts!
Haley of Carrots for Michealmas
Molly of Molly Makes Do
Also, please take a moment to visit the other linkers and leave a short comment to let them know you were there! Let’s keep our Little HolyDays community strong!