Nothing’s Gonna Change Our World…Unless We Do

‘I read the news today…oh boy’ – Manchester looks like its been at war.  ‘A crowd of people stood and stared,’ they’d seen terrorism before. Beatles lyrics are currently racing around my head, music is my comfort today.

Twenty-two people killed, including children as young as eight years old. More than fifty injured. The distressing news just keeps coming. It’s getting so hard to hide my sadness and tears from my children.

How do I protect them from the news? How do I protect them from this increasingly dangerous world?

Images of the Newtown tragedy flash through my brain, as I see a mother cry for her missing daughter. People/children were once again going about their day. People/children were once again murdered.

With no warning. With no reason. With no emotion.

They are now gone. Their families are still trying to find them or find out if they are among the victims. Their families all have our sympathy, our thoughts, and our hearts. We hug our own children safe in the knowledge that they are okay today.

But what about tomorrow?

What new tragedies await all of us?

Today a bridge of pain connects us to Manchester, just like many bridges before. This pain seems unending in recent years. This pain is heartbreaking.

I wish it would stop.

I tell my anxious daughter a few details of the bombing, because I know that she will find out about it at school. I want her to hear my words first. I want her to see my face when I say this is a horrible tragedy, but this is far away, it will not directly affect you.

I never spoke to her about how I was in New York City on 9/11. How I walked for miles among traumatized ashen people. I never told her that her Aunt lost her best friend in the bombing of Pan Am 103, and worked in Tower One of the World Trade Center. I never told her how close to home tragedy has struck. But I have said those words of comfort to her before, about Newtown and a few other tragedies, because I needed to calm her fears.

My words which usually speak passionate truths were carefully edited, carefully cooled down to help her deal with the news. To help her deal with the fact that the safe little world in which she currently exists is shrinking. With each bomb blast, shooting or death from cold hands she will be unwound. Her idea of safety is slowly being liquidated to pay off the debt of her survival. Her artistic brush is forced to paint a picture of a world in frequent mourning, over mornings such as these.

When I was younger I frequently watched the news with my mom. I am not able to do this with my daughter, for it is too often filled with tragic headlines and scary events.

So instead I shield her from as much devastation as I can, surround her with love and comfortable things, and pray she will gain the strength to get through such difficult times.

I let her see me write blogs and poetry often, I tell her that getting out our emotions in a positive way is a blessing and a necessity. She hears the tap tap of the keyboard and the click click of the mouse as I pour out my feelings. I hope she always remembers these sounds. The sounds of subsistence, the sounds that help me get through my toughest times.

I am glad that she has her art to ease her mind. I hope that it always does. I hope that the stroke of her paintbrush can help her survive, thrive and put some color into this often gloomy world.

I often tell her that we should always help others when we are able to. That so many people need assistance, and that there is nothing wrong with asking for it. I tell her that it’s okay to pause her world in order to help someone in need.

After tragedies I feel helpless, sorrowful and weak. I wonder what kind of world we are leaving our children. But watching the kindness of strangers, bystanders and everyday heroes always lifts me up. These people make it possible to see the light in the darkness, the way through the pain.

I want to be one of these people. I am trying to teach my children to be like these people. The light-bringers, the change-makers, the bastions of hope. People who see others as equals and worthy of compassion. People who feel it is our duty as citizens to help lift others up, because they know we will all fall down at some point in our lives.

Manchester needs us now. The world needs us now. We must take a long look in the mirror of truth, and put an end to our apathy. I have been looking in this mirror for years, I am ready to make a difference. I realize that it all starts with me.

And as the tears flow from the sights and sounds of a city that’s an hours train ride from Liverpool, I know that nothing’s gonna change our world – unless we do.

Kathy ❤

Poetologie

 

A Letter to My Children on Mother’s Day

I will always treasure every moment
I spent with you dear child
you are my baby and will always be
through many moonlight miles

I hope your days are always filled
with more happiness than you can accrue
and when I am no longer here
the moonbeams will send my love to you

Dear Children,

While you were in my belly I thought a lot about being a perfect mother. I dreamed of you under a starry sky and a bright full moon. I felt like I had been waiting my whole life for you, and I wanted to make sure you were happy. I pictured being Martha Stewart in the kitchen, having a house worthy of Better Homes & Garden magazine, and endless days of laughter, fireflies and fun.

When you arrived I knew the true meaning of love, and wanted to fulfill these goals more than anything.

What I didn’t know then was that I would not accomplish many of these objectives due to Chronic Illness, Lyme Disease and Anxiety. These dreams slowly drifted away as the pain increased, my brain got more foggy, and my strength diminished.

Though I knew that there was no such thing as a perfect mother, I wanted to be as close to perfection as possible. I set the bar very high, and I could never come close to that goal.

You are my little moonbeams, and I prayed to the moon for your forgiveness.

I read you books when I could, played games when I could, and took you to the park when I was able. I walked many moonlight miles with you, I would walk anywhere with you. I cooked you nice meals, and baked awesome allergy friendly treats as often as possible. I watched the sprinkles fall from your fingers, just like I watched the rapid passage of time.

I thought that despite my health issues, life sure is very sweet.

I would destroy the bar I set, and set a new one. This one would focus more on love than longevity, and more on feelings than frequency.

I would learn to enjoy whatever time we had together, and make memories that would last us a lifetime.

I knew that no matter what, I had already accomplished my greatest goal, bringing two incredible children into the world.

You are incredible.

Never forget that.

You show compassion when others are in pain, you hold your little umbrellas up to me to shelter me from the rain. You sit at the buddy bench with those who need a friend, you live your lives with joy and kindness that certainly does transcend. You help plant our garden with seeds of hope, you help me get by, you help me cope. You are as peaceful as little doves, have taught me the meaning of unconditional love. You are more special to me than words can say, and I will love you til’ my dying day.

I am so blessed to have you in my life.

I am sorry for my shortcomings, or for anything you have missed due to my illnesses and anxiety.

But I am not sorry that you failed to miss what the meaning of life is.

Being kind and true to yourself. Being able to put others in need before yourself from time to time. Spending as much time as possible with those you love. Never taking them for granted, never forgetting to tell them how much you care.  Love yourself, others and the environment. Never stop growing your mind, your heart, your soul.

I am so proud of you.

I am so happy that I get to spend Mother’s Day with you.

There is no one else I’d rather be with. There is no one else like you.

Thank you for all of the joy you have given me, and continue to bring to my life. I hope all that joy comes back to you two-fold.

I hope you will always remember what I have taught you.

Always live your life to the fullest.

Always remember how much I love you.

Always remember that that light that shines within you is greater than the light of any moon.

 

 

IMG_2409

 

 

 

How the Newtown Tragedy Made me a Better Mom

I think all moms remember where they were when the news broke about what occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Though it took place three years ago, the memories are still so vivid.

What happened was a mom’s worst nightmare.  It will always haunt my dreams.

I remember counting the minutes until I would be able to pick up my daughter from school that dark day in December.  She was in second grade at the time, and close in age to the 20 young children who were killed.

I never wanted to hug her more.

I never wanted to let her, or my 2 year old son, go.

That night when I put both of them to bed, it was like no night before. Everything had changed.

My senses were heightened, my fear was raised, my love for my children had never been more clear. They were all that mattered, and I was very lucky to be able to tuck them into bed that night.

I turned on the news once they were sleeping, and it was very hard to watch.  I think I cried the whole night through.

The crying lasted for weeks.  I think my husband thought I was losing it.

Though I was very lucky to not have been directly affected by the tragedy, it caused me so much pain.  I had to find an outlet for this pain.  I had to try to do something to help.

I lived about 5 hours from Sandy Hook, so going there wasn’t an immediate option, plus I knew that they did not want many outsiders visiting.

So I started a Facebook page called “Twenty Six Seeds of Love for Newtown.”  The only purpose for this page was to say that I was sorry.  I had never had a page before, and I had no idea what I was doing.  I only knew that I had to do SOMETHING.

I didn’t care how many people saw my page, I would have been happy if only one Newtowner saw it & felt a little comfort from it.  I wrote a poem for Newtown, through many tears. I was glad to have something to occupy my time while I worried about my daughter while she was at school.

My page only grew from there and I was able to reach and talk to many people from the town, and even raised some money for them.  I really didn’t know what to say at first other than I’m sorry, but I managed to find words for the past three years.  I wrote many poems, including 26 individual poems for each beautiful Angel taken too soon.

Through the work on my page, and contact with many residents of Newtown, I have become a much better person and a much better mom.

I followed the stories very closely and watched many news reports. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the grace, humanity and love pouring out of the residents of Newtown, including some of the parents of the victims.

They came together and supported each other through one of the worst events in recent history.  People all over the world sent cards, gifts and prayed for all of them.

The many images of love, began to shine a light on the darkness.

I felt my own darkness lift, as I saw the best of humanity come out to help a broken town.

Watching all of “the helpers” these past three years has really affected me in a positive way.  I started to gravitate to these stories more, and it has managed to change me in many different ways.

I now seek out inspirational people who are trying to make this world a better place.  I read their stories, I commiserate with them, I learn from their life lessons. They are my heroes and role models.

Many of the families who have lost loved ones at Newtown have started charities or foundations in order to continue their family members legacies of kindness, service and love.  They are managing to help so many children, people, and animals lead better lives. Though they will always be grieving, they have not let this stop them from helping others.

This has truly humbled me and brought me to my knees a few times.  If they can manage to do this after all they have been through, why can’t all of us?

If they can still find hope and see the good in others, after what they have lost, why can’t we?

Many of these families share pictures and memories with the world of their beautiful loved ones.  They are showing us what extraordinary children/people they were.  They are showing us how they are still making a positive difference in the world.  They are showing us what great parents they are.  They are showing us what true love is.

I have learned to open up and share more because of them.  I have learned to be more charitable and search for ways, big and small, in which I can help those in need.

But most of all, I have learned to appreciate my kids more.  My time with them is not guaranteed.  I must make the most of it.  I must show them how to be kind and compassionate by the way I treat them and others. I must tell them often how much I love them, and how much they mean to me.

I will never forget the 26 Angels of Newtown.  I will never forget the lessons I have learned from a little town in Connecticut that was shattered by pain. A town that is still learning how to heal through hope and kindness.

I will always remember what they have lost, and try to make my time here on Earth count.  I will do what I can to make my family and others happy in the time I have left.

I wish more than anything that I could turn back time and make the tragedy never happen.

But I can’t.

So I will continue to love with all my heart….

 

Kathy ❤

Poetologie

Twenty Six Seeds of Love for Newtown

You can find out more about the 26 Angels and their legacies via this link to the family run website:

http://mysandyhookfamily.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Storms of Life Spare No One – Let’s All Help Each Other Through

I was just reading a news story about finding an appropriate way to posthumously honor former DC Mayor Marion Barry.  I knew that he was a deeply flawed political figure, known as the “Mayor for life,” but I was still saddened after reading all of the negative comments about him. I felt the urgent need to post a positive comment about him, though he was never my Mayor. 

After reading more about him, I understood more about where he came from, his poverty stricken childhood, and about what may have led to his drug use and some of his bad choices.  I also read about how he was a well educated man, and a civil rights leader, becoming the first such leader to become Mayor of such a major city in America.  I read about his legacy and accomplishments, which most of us will never attain.

I was deeply moved by two of his quotes where he described having to drink at a separate water fountain as a child due to segregation, and about how he was just trying to get through “the storms of life.”

The storms of life definitely do not spare anyone, I know that just as well as anyone.  That is why I am always so shocked and upset after I read callous online comments.  When did it become okay for us to tear each other apart from the comfort of our own homes?   When did it become okay for us to become inhumane couch critics?

1439998561320

I don’t know when I read my first cruel online comment, but I do know that I have stopped reading most of them.  I do know that I am only human, and have been tempted by the apple of anger to post one myself, especially to defend those unable to defend themselves, but I stop myself from commenting most of the time.

This is because it is the never-ending story of hate, lies, anger, discriminatory remarks, and fear.  Once in awhile you may read a brilliant, hilarious, or heart-warming comment that sucks you back into the whole rigmarole, but a large percentage of it seems to be negative. (There are a few exceptions to this such as; a positive support group, a page to help cure diseases, etc)

Oh that Caitlyn Jenner is no hero, or that President Obama is the cause of all the evil in the world, or that Chris Christie eats too many Jersey subs.  It never ends…

I just came by to see

But all of these people are human.  They are living their lives, and doing their best to survive the storms of life.  I may not agree with every opinion, or post I see, but I’m trying hard to become a member of Online Commenter’s Anonymous.*  I’m trying hard to read the articles & not the comments.  To see the real story, the big picture, the fragility of the human race.

That fragility is what makes us human.  That ability to make mistakes, and learn and grow from them makes us who we are,  We have all suffered, we have all experienced failure and regret, and all of us must learn to exercise a little more compassion, and A LOT less judgment.

I’m also trying to read more positive, uplifting pieces, blog posts, etc.  These stories remind us that no one is immune to tragedy, heartache or pain.  We are all facing something.  We have all walked through fire.  We must all help each other through.

homeless-man

I keep up with the news because I know how important it is.  I keep up with politics because I know how much it affects my life.  But I will not keep up with reading online comments, unless it’s about fluffy bunny rabbits…..everybody loves fluffy bunny rabbits….oh, except for user4hate who just commented “not the fat ones.”

Mandy cute close up

  • my blog gives me special commenting privileges, and a respite from regular online commenting on other’s posts 😉

Kathy ❤

Poetologie

Nuts About My Son

Twenty Six Seeds of Love for Newtown

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…..

Countrysongnia and the New Year (from Dec. 2014)

guitar song meme

I have been experiencing some trouble sleeping the past few weeks. A few days ago I experienced a certain type, in which I inexplicably am able to write country songs while suffering from insomnia.

This has happened to me once before and I wrote a song called “Memory Lane.”

The funny thing about this is that I grew up in NYC and have no ties to the country. I have mostly listened to Classic Rock my whole life & rarely listen to country music, though I do like it.

I am more much more hippie than country. Maybe moving to VA is having a tiny effect on me?

I am not excited about getting insomnia again, but I am excited about my weird, unexpected new hidden talent.

I will enjoy it, and I will enjoy expressing my emotions in a new way.

I hope all of you enjoy the year’s end & the upcoming year. I hope you discover great hidden talents, and wonderful treasures.

But, I hope most of all, that you find lots of love, happiness, health & peace in 2015.

Here is my new “countrysongnia” song entitled “The Guitar”

The Guitar

I walked along the streets of the Village
cold, hungry, and feeling alone
I spent my last dollar on you
I wanted to become a rolling stone

I bought my precious guitar
some extra strings and some picks
I carried you on my back
hoping my life you’d manage to fix

you were the first step toward freedom
and mending what life had torn apart
you gave me strength and love
and helped heal a broken heart

………………………………………………

Refrain:

thank you for being a symbol of
what it means to be free
I don’t know what I’d do
without my guitar, kayak and poetry
…………………………………………

I spent many years carrying you,
while I travelled around,
tried many jobs and men,
til’ I put my feet back on the ground

and though I never learned
to play your acoustic strings
I’m grateful I have you
and the message that you bring

Repeat Refrain

I have written many poems
and kayaked many waters
and one day I’ll pass you down
to my dear, loving daughter

and I will tell her this tale
of broken hearts and broken strings
and of how she must believe in herself
and how kindness trumps fancy things

Repeat Refrain

But for now I see
that you are gathering some dust
I will try to live once more
and not be in such a rush

I will learn to play my guitar
as life doles out the chords
I will love and live life well
and at the end hear the applause….

Kathy ❤

Poetologie

Nuts About My Son

Twenty Six Seeds of Love for Newtown

© KS 2014