Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Newtown: Struggling

I am struggling.  I am afraid to type that word.
Struggle.  Seems so harsh.  So cold.  But I feel that.
If you have followed any part of the Newtown shootings.....
I think you understand.
The struggle to balance thoughts of "what if" with reality of "what is"

If you are a parent, you understand.
Struggle to balance.
Struggle to please
Struggle to do.
Struggle to just be.

If you are a Dad, you understand.
Struggle to serve.
Struggle to protect.
Struggle to provide.

I am struggling because Newtown changed me.
It became my home.  Long ago but cemented now.

I struggle because I want to do more.
I struggle when I watch Mark on Capital Hill in Hartford.
I struggle to imagine how each passing day is for him, Cindy and Anna.
I think often of James and Olivia.
Catherine is on my heart too.  Especially with Jen Hubbard being JP's teacher.

I struggle to balance love with sadness.
I love being with my kids.  And do it often.
I struggle to want more time with them.
Maybe that is every Dad's struggle?  Or every parent's worry that today may be there last?

Life moves forward.
More fun. More trials.
But I struggle to forget.
Maybe it is a part of me.  Part of us.
But it can't define me.  Or us.

Does the struggle ever end?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Newtown: A Mission for our Children

Our collective strength and resilience will serve as an example to the rest of the world.  Be Strong, Newtown.

What am I called to do?

My Mission:
Be a leader to create a stronger town filled with stronger families by creating incredible life experiences for our kids.

Goal 1:  Returning Joy to my (& Newtown's) children

Fairfield University (my alma mater) found a way.
Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo found a way.

Newtown Youth Day on December 17 started it.
Kids played.  With no fear.  With no media.  With Joy.

We must continue this mission.
I can't do it alone.
I have and will find others to lead with me.
But it will continue.
It must continue.

Time will pass.  Sports seasons will change.
But I will be strong.  Together, we will be stronger.

Months will pass.  Milestones will be reached.
But we will play.  And laugh.
Maybe cry.  Always remembering.

My collective strength.
My family's resilience.
My town.
Together we are an example for the rest of the world.

That's my mission.
I am ready.
I am willing.
I am able.

I am Strong.  Newtown Strong.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Newtown: How our Town Heals

"Will what happened to the Sandy Hook kids happen to me?" 
How do I answer this question from my 6 year old.

Our town is sad.  We have questions.  My family too.

We all grieve differently.  I've learned that lesson.  I respect that now.

I see the impact to my kids.  Some get quiet.  Some get loud.

We all heal differently.  In different ways.  In different times.  In different phases.

Our town continued to heal this past week.
Soccer Night in Newtown helped.
Basketball teams playing all over town helped more. 
A small step to help kids heal.
A small step to help parents cope.
A small step to help a town heal.

More to come this weekend.

I still don't have an answer yet to:
"Will what happened to the Sandy Hook kids happen to me?" 

Maybe I never will.
Maybe I don't want to answer it.  Maybe I want to ignore it, pretend it never existed.

I don't have a response.
I hug a little longer.  A little tighter.
My eyes waters when my kids leave for the bus.
I hold their head steady to look at me when I say "I love you".

I am learning to heal.
With my town.
With my family. 
In our time.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Newtown: A Town with Hope

“A modest glow of hope flickered to life within me, like a candle in the night. I had a plan and it was a good one. I only needed to survive to put it into effect” - Life of Pi

We as a town start to hope.  It is small hope, but it glimmers.
The media moves on.  But we are here.
We move forward.  Together.
We have hope.

Hope that our schools are safe for our kids.
Hope that our families are doing well.
Hope for a renewed joy for our Sandy Hook school community.
Hope for a day by day existence for the parents.

It is small.  It's a start.  But it is there.

Is it ok to joke now?
Can I truly smile?
Why do I still feel sad?
Can I still coach these kids with joy?
Why do I always think of ... What if?
Why do I continue to think of James' smile?
Where is my hope?

My hope is weak.  Not strong.  Needs work.

But I have faith.
Faith that we move forward. Together.  One step forward.
Maybe two steps backward.
But we hope together.  Hopefully stronger.
As one.

Hope is there.  To be nurtured in our tight community.  Forever.