Saturday, December 29, 2012

Newtown: The New Normal

My wife said to me, "...You do realize the impacts of the Newtown shootings in our town will be felt for a long time....."  That struck me.

This event has put me "in a fog".  I have been changed by this event.  But, will I change?

My friends in town might be feeling the exact same way.
Along with grief, we have seen extraordinary amount of blessings.
Donors have sent to our town:  free coffee, food, toys, free events and free museums. 

In simple or big ways, this country has helped out the kids their families and our town.  Friends have randomly shown up on our door step.  Just to be with us.

This has helped us slowly gain a sense of community.  A sense of normalcy.

The media and memorial visitors are slowing fading away.

Our town hopes to return to what we once were.  But we can't.

We have a new normal.  We are changed.

But will we change?

Will I be a better father and husband?
Will I be a better friend?
Will I be a better coach?
Will I further help and serve the kids (our future) in our town?
Will our town work to protect our kids?
Will our town appropriately allocate all the $$$ blessings it has received?
Will our town work to improve our kids quality of life?
Will our town work for gun control?
Or will we work to gain media exposure for our own interests?

What is our new normal?  Time will tell.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Newtown: A Town Learns to Mourn

When you lose your Dad suddenly at age 17, you learn about death.
When your niece dies when she is 9 months old, you learn about pain.
When you lose 20 children in one day in your town, you learn to mourn.

We mourn each day for these kids and families.
We mourn the purity of our town.
I mourn the innocence of my four children.
I mourn for James as I read from his obituary:
"If his Dad was outside, James wanted to be right there with him."

My town is sad.  So am I.
I've learned we each mourn differently.
In mourning, I have learned I want to give of myself.
Trying in one small way to give life back to our town, life back to our kids.
As adults we know about death.  Especially this week.
But for our kids we wanted this week to be a step forward.
So we played.
We found a haven away from the media to play.
To play each day with our kids.
We cried.  We hugged.  We encouraged.
But through it all - our kids played.  And Smiled.  And Laughed.

One small step.

I am learning each day to mourn.   My town is learning too.

And yes, are right here with us.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

No Words from Newtown

Newtown, CT
Photo Taken: 
8 am 
15 December

No words.
I have no words to express for my children. 
I have no words to express to my wife.
I have no words for the media outside my church
I have no words to my mom who visits.
I have no words for family and friends who call.
I have no words to the Newtown kids I coach.
I type "NO WORDS" in my texts.
I stare blankly at people in Starbucks.
I hug friends in town while food shopping.
My Facebook status is blank most of the time.

How do you sleep comfortably?
The town is silent and somber.
Morning comes and the town is silent, still, reflective, in shock.

This is not a regular day.  Tears fill everyone's eyes.
There are no words.  A perfect town became imperfect.

I coached a boy who's eyes sparkled when he smiled. 
He did not need words to show his joy.
He showed me there is joy in baseball. 
He showed me the joy of hitting a baseball for the first time. 
I still picture J.M. running up the first base line smiling from ear to ear.

I spent time with J.M.s parents tonight.
They are special people. He is a special kid.
From one father to another....what do I say?
From one parent to another....what do I do?
From one coach to his kids....what can I teach?
Right now.  I have no words.