In This Time of Darkness, Send In the Snow

I am a snowflake, I stand tall and proud. I’ve fallen to the ground, from an ominous cloud. I’m cold on arrival, but I melt when I hear. The drums of injustice, pounding very near.

The world seems so much darker since Donald Trump was sworn in on January 20, 2017. His first 80 days in office have been a disaster, and have incited many people to protest often. He continues to harm and insult countless individuals and communities, just like he did on the campaign trail. Some were anticipating that he’d magically change once he took the oath of office, but I never had that hope. I saw what he was, because I listened to who he told us he was. Many didn’t listen close enough or believe it. They just chose a few things they liked about him, and dismissed all the rest. Some of these people are regretting their decision to vote for him, but not many of his core supporters who seem to stick by him no matter the cost. Even through the threat of nuclear war.

That makes me very sad. Sad that people support such a hateful man, who surrounds himself with cruel, divisive people. Sad that he was elected even though Hillary Clinton had almost three million more votes. Sad that the world’s opinion of the United States has now changed. Sad that I cannot let my own children listen to their President speak. I will not let them hear his hateful rhetoric. I will play back old speeches of Barack Obama so that they can hear the words of a wonderful, eloquent man. An intelligent, devoted family man whom I, and many citizens, loved and will always love. He will always be my President.

I will teach them about compassion, and the difference between legislation that is created to hurt us, and legislation that is created to help us. I will show them how people’s actions speak louder than their words. I will show them all the progress that was made during Obama’s Presidency. I will show them how the Trump Administration is desperately trying to erase all of that progress, and target certain people/communities with a big smile on their face.

I will teach them the value of voting in every single election.

I will show them what love is, and that helping people is an essential part of being human. I will teach them not to judge people by the color of their skin, or by what religion they follow, or by the amount of money they have. I will teach them that we are all equal and should be treated that way.

I will teach them that snowflakes are beautiful, and to be called one is not an insult but a compliment. It means that you care about the world and all of those in it, not just yourself or people like you. It means that you will speak up when necessary, and won’t let your kindhearted ideals get trampled to the ground.

When I heard about the Muslim Ban and saw all the chaos and inhumanity at the airports months ago, I cried. I cried for all those affected, for their families, for our country, and for my children.

I was so happy that they were born while Obama was President. The world seemed so much better, safer and happier. I know that some terrible things still happened, but having Obama at the helm was very comforting. He strived for peace, equality and the greater good. He was a kind and decent man, and when he spoke I got chills down my spine. I knew that I was witnessing greatness. I feel sorry for those that didn’t.

I do believe some people are coming to that conclusion now, and are realizing that harmless emails were actually a diversion from a sinister plot to make America fascist not great. Many people made a mistake by not voting, or by voting for the wrong candidate. Now our country is in great peril. Now a traitorous egomaniac is at the helm.

I believe Michelle Obama said it best when she spoke to Oprah “we are feeling what not having hope feels like.”

I know exactly what she meant, and that is the feeling I have had since the election. I am left with a giant hole in my heart now, and a feeling of dread that I have never felt before. I am scared for my country. I do not support Trump as President and I never will. That is a hard thing to admit and have to deal with, for I consider myself a very patriotic person. I love this country. But, I love it so much that I will not support those who try to destroy it. Things are not normal right now. I have always watched every Inauguration, and wished every President well. Not this time. This administration is like no other. The hate, intolerance, discrimination, and fear it perpetuates is unacceptable.

That is why I am a snowflake.

I was born with a lot of compassion, even though I was not treated well for many years. I was always able to try to put myself in others shoes. I cried easily at the sight of pain or injustice. I always wanted to help, though I wasn’t always able to.

Some are not born with a lot of compassion, but it can be taught, it can be practiced, it can be developed. It can be learned by watching others who exhibit it. It will not be shown during this administration, that is why I hope it doesn’t last long. I hope it doesn’t have to time to destroy people’s lives, jobs, families, healthcare, and the environment.

I don’t want to watch the country I love burn. I want the beauty that Obama and those before him created to remain.

I was very sad on January 20th. I am still very sad about what is going on, and about how Trump is trying to move our country quickly toward fascism. But on January 21st, during The Women’s March on Washington, I found hope again. Hope came in the form of millions of snowflakes wearing pink hats. I could not get enough of the coverage, the speeches, the signs, the women and men who marched for a better, more fair and diverse world. A world I believe in. A world I want to live in.

Though I live close to Washington D.C. I could not march due to my health, but I felt like I was right there with them. I found the light I was looking for, I found my fellow snowflakes.

Many conservatives use the term snowflake in a derogatory manner. I don’t care though, I am proud to be one. I am proud that I, and so many others, care about our fellow citizens, and about our world. I am proud that we want to help others, and to make the world a better place for our children, and for everyone. We will march, protest, call our representatives until the cows come home, because we know that many things in life are worth fighting for, and our country is one of them.

I am so proud that so many people in our country, and around the world, are standing up to the injustice that surrounds us. It gives me hope, it helps me sleep at night. I am able to look in the mirror knowing that I did my best to try to be a good person, and to make a difference, no matter how small.

I don’t know how our new President, or many of his followers look in the mirror at night. I don’t know how they post about how glad they are that the refugee children that have been turned away have nowhere safe to go now, then kiss their own children good night. I don’t know how they say “build the wall,” with such glee, and turn their heads while other’s are bullied and beaten because of such hateful rhetoric. I don’t know how they cried while Angels were shot down in Newtown, but cheer when Trump talks about removing gun-free zones at schools, and while he gave a Sandy Hook denier a seat in the White House Press Room. They looked away while the people of Flint had no drinking water, and voted for someone who will allow all of our water to be polluted. They believe all of the alternative facts and have no idea what the truth is anymore. What examples are they setting for their children?

I will follow the marchers, the scientists, the environmentalists, the civil rights activists, those who fight injustice, and those who dream of a brighter future for all of us. Those who realize that the swamp has not been drained, it has been filled with unscrupulous billionaires who are okay with following a tyrant who is beholden to Russian interests. Money is their God, and their savior Jesus, is just a poor immigrant.

I am glad that the world is watching. I am glad that those who were banned from our country know that the majority of Americans do not agree. I am glad that most of us do not agree with the deportations of Dreamers and non-violent immigrants. I am glad that they see that most of us care. That we will keep protesting and fighting for them, and for what is right. Fighting for the heart and soul of the nation we love.

They say a storm is coming. It is a storm of millions of voices starting to rise. Winter is here. A winter that could last many years.

We are the winter. We are the snowflakes. We will fight injustice. We will spread love. We are indivisible. We are stronger together.

We will try to replace all of the pain that will be created, and all of the woe that we feel, with a beautiful bright layer of fresh fallen snow.

And as we march, we will leave millions of footprints in the snow that will never melt.

snowflakepoem

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Yes, Virginia…We Need Stronger Gun Laws

Virginia, throughout America your little friends are crying. They have been affected by their parents, and other Americans, cynicism, divisiveness and apathy. They know the scary things which they see on the news. They comprehend the violence occurring every day on their streets. Their minds are not little. They see the bloodshed. They feel the loss of their innocence. In their great big worlds dreams are being replaced by fear, art is being replaced by a picture of their friends mother crying at their child’s burial. They are not too young to grasp the fact that their classroom closets are now our inept way to cope with the reality of gun violence in our nation.

Yes, Virginia there is a need for stronger gun laws. Those of us who are willing to put politics aside and march toward a safer, more peaceful world know this. Your world should be filled with joy and fireflies, sprinklers and bike rides, carnivals and endless laughter. We should always put you first, and do what we can to protect you from harm. So that your world will be like an infinite poem, one that provides a rhyme and reason for your beautiful life.

We should not turn a blind eye each time we hear a story of another child killed by a gun not stored safely, or by a person intent on doing harm to school children or innocent bystanders. Over thirty thousand beams of light are extinguished each year by a gun. This light should not be forgotten, these flames should continue to burn in each one of us.

Not believe in gun laws? You might as well not believe in the pursuit of happiness which our forefathers fought so bravely for. So many people are fighting every single day for you and your happiness Virginia. They walk the streets, they make phone calls, they attend tough meetings. You may not see them, but they are there just as sure as the princesses that fill your dreams. Many of us choose not to see these unsung heroes, but many of us do and march to the beat of the same drum.

You can take apart this drum and see the rim, tension rods and tuning screws, but you cannot see the depth of the heart that beats for you and for all Americans. These hearts are strong, these hearts are united, these hearts want you and all children/people to be given a chance to lead a full, wonderful life. They believe in stronger gun laws and background checks because they work and save lives, not because of a secret agenda. Their agenda is pain. Their agenda is a mother’s tears. They want these tears to stop flowing. They can see the reality of the situation, but they remain hopeful. They want to fill your world with this hope, and they want you to revel in the beauty of this nation. The beauty of friendship, the beauty of community, the beauty of love.

No gun laws? That was never the intention of our forefathers, for they knew we must create, amend and uphold the laws of our land so that we can all be safer and free. Many years from now, I hope you are able to look back on a wonderful childhood, free from the fear and constraints of a violent society.

We have the ability to make that happen. We are the adults, and yes you should believe in us. You should believe in childhood fantasies and fairy tales. You should walk the streets with a smile on your face, and lots of love in your heart. You should believe that we will keep fighting for you and never let you down.

Kathy ❤

Poetologie

* This blog post is inspired by, and follows the format of the famous editorial “Is There a Santa Claus?” which was printed on September 21, 1897 in The New York Sun

 

You Were Supposed to Be an Abortion

“You were supposed to be an abortion,” was one of the last things my father ever said to me. It was during Thanksgiving 2004 that he uttered these words to me, and to all sitting at the holiday table. I was shocked, embarrassed and hurt, but not surprised.

I have felt unwanted and unloved my whole life. Like an uninvited guest burdening an ongoing dinner party. A dinner party with not enough food, joy or warmth. I was just one more mouth to feed, one more diaper to change, one more screaming child in a house on the verge of destruction.

I know my mom did not want this, but it was an easy way out for my dad who was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. He was a cop who walked the beat in NYC, he was a man who often beat his children when he was off duty. He loved a can of Budweiser more then he loved his own kids.

He suffered from mental illness but refused to get help. He spun out of control and we were all caught in his web. Sometimes he was an itsy bitsy amount of fun, most times he was as terrifying as Shelob the giant spider from Lord of the Rings. He was a spinner of lies and broken dreams, he was a predator to our happiness.

He called me Foe as a joke from Jack and the Beanstalk’s Fee Fi Fo Fum, but he was actually my foe. He was never truly in my corner, he never protected me, he never told me that he loved me. He even held a loaded gun to my head and asked me if I wanted to die first, on one dark night.

I like so many others was born into a home without love. The love had died, just as surely as my dad wanted me to. I was just a reminder of this fact, an exclamation mark to an unhappy marriage and life. When I was able to understand this, I suffered my first broken heart.

I have been trying to mend my broken heart ever since. I have not fully succeeded, and will spend the rest of my life trying. My past has led me to making many bad decisions, and to at least one unhealthy relationship.

It wasn’t until I matured and took the time to understand myself and my needs that I began to make better decisions. I learned to love the person that I thought was unlovable. I began to slowly heal. I learned to look at life through a new lens, I finally saw a path toward happiness.

There were many bumps in the road of course, and many wrong turns, but I managed to learn from my mistakes and get right back on the road. I steered clear of abusive personalities, and slowly found myself surrounded by kind, supportive people. People who understood pain, physical and/or mental, people who truly care about others.

This took awhile and was not easy, but was very worthwhile. It is much better to be alone than to be with people who constantly hurt you. It is much better to wait for good things, than to rush into bad situations. It is much better to take the time to truly love yourself. You are amazing. You are a gift.

I had waited my whole life for someone to tell me that they loved me and really mean it. What I didn’t realize was that I needed to hear it from myself the most. When I was finally able to look in the mirror with pride and feel self-love, my life changed course.

I met a wonderful man and have two wonderful children. I try to tell them that I love them often, for I know what it feels like to crave these words. I try to show them how much I love them often, for I know what it feels like to be neglected. I try to hug and kiss them often, in the hopes that it will protect them from an unkind world. I try to show them kindness, so that they will show the same kindness to others.

I only saw my father once after that Thanksgiving. It was on his deathbed. There were no apologies offered, no warmth shown, no love for my unborn daughter that grew in my big belly, no I love yous, no big movie screen goodbyes.

I just leaned over him for the last time and kissed his forehead. I said a quick prayer for him to finally find peace and happiness.

I no longer needed him. I never really did. I walked out of that hospital room with all I ever really needed.

Myself, some self-love, and a whole lotta love to spare.

When Sorry is not Enough: An Open Letter to All Parents of Children Lost to Gun Violence

To All Parents Who Have Lost Children to Gun Violence:

I will no longer say I’m sorry for what you’ve been through, because sorry is not enough.  Sorry won’t make you feel any better. Sorry won’t dry your tears.  Sorry won’t bring back your beautiful children.

I was sorry on 12/14/12, the day of the Newtown tragedy.  I have been sorry every since.  But not much has changed, in fact the incidents of mass shootings are getting more frequent.

I was so sorry that I started a facebook page called Twenty Six Seeds of Love for Newtown on 12/19/12.  I have been saying sorry to those in Newtown ever since.  And though I know that many of the residents of Newtown follow my page and appreciate what I’m trying to do, it just isn’t enough.

avatar26new

Sorry is just a way of trying to make myself feel better.  It is a kind thing to say I guess, but it doesn’t change anything.

It doesn’t change what happened in San Bernardino, it doesn’t change what happened in Roseburg, Aurora, Virginia Tech, or what happens every single day in our country.

It doesn’t change what just happened in Orlando. Forty-nine innocent people slaughtered once again. The worst mass shooting in US history. Innocent victims of our cowardice, inaction and apathy.

I AM sorry that we have failed you.  As a country, as a people, as human beings.

We refuse to see your horrible tragedies for what they are.  An inexcusable, preventable injustice.  A horrible loss that NONE of us would like to face.

You are living a parents worst nightmare.  You have joined a club NONE of us want to be in.  You shouldn’t have to stand alone.

While many of us get over the horror of these tragedies and move on with our lives, you can never truly move on.

You must deal with the loss of your loved ones on a daily basis.  You are serving a sentence, and you never committed a crime.

I can no longer carelessly leave the TV on while my young children are home, for fear they will hear of the next school shooting or mass shooting.

I can no longer feel content after I drop them off at school, the movies, or the mall.

For your losses are ALWAYS at the back of my mind.

I no longer care about there being two sides to the gun issue.

We should ALL be on the side of humanity.

We should focus on there being one side only- the side of less death from gun violence.

I care about you and the pain you are going through.

I don’t want to see another parent go through that pain.

I want to see the killing stop.

I want to see the streets filled with laughing children, not blood.

And every single one of us should want the same thing.

And every single one of us should do whatever it takes to protect the children, and all of us, from the next shooting.

Whatever it takes.

The time is now to stop the division, and to put the lives of others first.

After all, we are all human.

ALL of us care about our children.

So I will not say sorry for the thousandth time.

I will say I wish you ANY peace you can eventually find.

I will say if there is ANYTHING I can do to help you, I will.

I will say that I wish that all of us will now have the courage and determination to put an end to this misery.

For sorry is just not enough…..

Love Kathy ❤

Poetologie

Twenty Six Seeds of Love for Newtown

26 seeds garden me

A Hurricane’s Coming

A hurricane’s coming,

and it starts with us;

we’re tired of the headlines,

we’ve all had enough.

The weather map is full of,
overcast skies;
another child taken,
another parent cries.

A hurricane’s coming,
the nowcast is dim;
we are beginning to feel like,
we cannot win.

For there seems to be no shelter,
in which we can hide;
none of us can escape,
the hurricane’s eye.

Its eyewall surrounds us,
it twists, and it turns;
and we all sit and wait,
for the next powerful storm surge.

But instead of waiting,
with our stomachs in knots;
why don’t we do something,
instead of being distraught?

A hurricane’s coming,
let’s stop the death toll;
let’s adjust the barometer,
BEFORE it starts to get low.

For you don’t have to have,
a meteorology degree;
to open your eyes,
and truly begin to see.

That we can no longer wait,
until the next updraft;
make your voice heard now,
we have to act fast.

Before another hurricane strikes,
and your home is next;
you will never be able to leave,
its spinning vortex.

Of pain, and of sorrow,
that never seems to end;
let’s all come together,
to stop this weather trend.

A hurricane’s coming,
and I’m beginning to see;
if I want the winds to recede,
it all starts with me….

Kathy ❤

Poetologie

Chasing Butterflies

memorial peace sign design no cp

Chasing Butterflies

I’ve been thinking a lot about butterflies these past 31 months. I have written about them, cared for them, wrote poems about them, created many memes of them, and created a pretty butterfly memorial garden at my daughter’s school in honor of the 26 Angels of Newtown.

Ever since Dylan’s mom, Nicole Hockley, referred to him as her “beautiful butterfly, and then said the following: “there’s a saying that if a butterfly flaps his wings in one place it can cause a hurricane halfway around the world. And I said that Dylan and all the others that died that day were now our butterflies and that they were going to drive change across the country, if not the world,” they have become a part of my vernacular, and a part of my heart.

Butterflies are believed to be the embodiment of a person’s soul. They are also seen as a symbol of rebirth and transformation.

And as I sit here remembering the events of July 20th, 2012, my mind is once again brought back to butterflies.

I was once again reading about the 12 victims of the tragedy, and thinking about them & their families, when I came across an article in the Denver Post.

There were two survivors of the Aurora tragedy who have to live with painful reminders of what happened every day. Ashley Moser, who lost her 6 year old daughter, Veronica, as well as her unborn child, is now a quadriplegic.

Another one of the survivors, Caleb Medley, who was an aspiring comic before the tragedy, suffered serious brain damage and an eye injury, and underwent three brain surgeries. He requires a feeding tube, has severely impaired movement, and can no longer speak.

He is continuing to improve through his physical therapy, but he & his wife, Katie, are unsure of what the future holds.

This 2014 article in the Denver Post, briefly describes their journey, and speaks about her recent tattoo:

“A butterfly tattoo dominates the inside of Katie’s right forearm, a piece of body art she had done about a year ago, after the first anniversary of the theater shooting.

Within the butterfly is the Batman logo and the date of the tragedy: July 2012.

When she approached the artist, her idea was just to have him create a small butterfly and leave it at that. But he seemed to grasp what she was looking to say, made a few suggestions and then did the whole thing freehand.

Now, she’s thinking of getting another tattoo, perhaps a replica of Officer Grizzle’s badge, in recognition for his part in saving her husband’s life.

But for now, the butterfly serves as a simple statement — a symbol for all that transpired, including details on which the family remains silent pending the outcome of the criminal case.

“For me,” Katie says, “it means new life, newness out of the Batman symbol of what happened to us. The butterfly is supposed to be new, starting over.”

After reading this article I will also think of Caleb and his wife whenever I see a butterfly. I will hope and pray for his progress, and for his happiness. I will hope that his family thrives.

I will also think of all of the victims of Aurora, Newtown, Columbine, Tucson, and Virginia Tech. I will think of the survivors of these tragedies, their families and friends, and I will send a silent wish to them as they continue their transformation to a life they never imagined, nor did they deserve.

I sit back and think of the many butterflies that I have seen in my life. As a child I gravitated toward them as they enjoyed my mom’s rose bushes. I ran, fluttered, hopped and skipped after them, as I hoped they would lead me toward peaceful dreams.

I’m still chasing after them, and I’m still hoping they will lead us all in the direction of love, happiness, and peace……………………♥♥♥

Kathy
Poetologie
Nuts About My Son

Twenty Six Seeds of Love for Newtown

*the names on this memorial peace sign represent the victims of the following tragedies:

blue- Aurora
green- Newtown
purple- Virginia Tech
dark purple- Columbine
red- Tucson

may they all forever rest in peace…..

I Am Orange

Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Many people are wearing orange today to spread awareness, & to honor Hadiya Pendleton who would have been celebrating her birthday today, if she was not killed by gun violence at the age of 15.

They are also honoring all who have been lost or affected by gun violence. Hadiya’s friends started wearing orange to honor her & to have the color represent life & wanting to live free of violence.

As I was driving back from dropping my daughter off at school, this poem crept into my head. I looked back at my son, and thought “I Am Orange, he is orange, we are all orange.”

We all want to live free of violence, we all want to follow our dreams and have our children be safe.

Hadiya, the 26 Angels of Newtown, and all of those lost to gun violence are weighing heavily on me today.

I am melancholy….my heart is heavy….and I am orange…..

For Hadiya, the Angels, all those lost to gun violence, and all those doing whatever they can to end it. I honor you, I salute you, & I love you:

I Am Orange

I am orange
I live and I breathe
I dance and I dream
I yearn to be free

I am orange
my heart longs to beat
as I walk along the Mall
or a south side street

I am orange
I survived many things
I’ve climbed up a mountain
and I long for better things

I am orange
I am Martin and Maya
I long for peace
I want all to climb higher

I am orange
my heart beats the same
we are all orange
from wherever we came

We want to end violence
we want to stand tall
we want to fulfill our destiny
we want to march on

Toward a more peaceful existence
where all are treated the same
whatever our hue of orange
whatever our name

Let’s all join together
and walk hand in hand
on the great orange path
where violence is shamed

Where violence is not tolerated
where it is replaced
with love and acceptance
for all who embrace

The warmth of orange
the light of each other’s face
we are all in this together
we are all part of the human race

So let’s work hard to end violence
in whatever way we can
we can begin by teaching our children
to respect life and their fellow man

Life can be beautiful
let’s all open our eyes
and a more peaceful world
will be the real grand prize

For life is not a lottery
left to be played
life is what you make it
so try to make it great

I am orange
and I want you to believe
I’m here, I’m important
I have my whole life in front of me

Help others realize that violence
is not the only way
with help, and with patience
you will see much brighter days

I am orange
I want you to see
violence is not the answer
please don’t let me continue to bleed……….

Kathy ❤orange meme don't let me bleed