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/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…..

The Song Without a Name

guitar-girl-grass-Favim.com-462659

I must have lived a past life as a country songwriter.

This is the 3rd country song I’ve written.

It is so funny, because I’m mostly a classic rock fan & part-time poet, but these songs keep coming to me out of nowhere & I can totally picture the song & tune.

I believe this one came to me because of all the Tim McGraw pics I’m seeing from the Concert for Sandy Hook Promise, and the love I’m feeling through them………….♥♥♥

The Song Without a Name

I can’t be a writer,
until I do a little living;
I can’t be a saint,
until I’ve done a little sinning.

I can’t be a giver,
until I’ve felt what it’s like to need;
I can’t be generous,
until I learn to control my greed.

I can’t help those who suffer,
until I see we are all the same;
I can’t learn to love you,
until I learn to be humane.

I can’t truly be happy,
until I learn to love myself;
I can’t spread this happiness,
until I love someone else.

I can’t get stronger,
until I continue to walk my path;
I can’t learn to really live,
until I learn that it won’t last.

I can’t accept my fate,
until I care about yours;
I can’t be part of humanity,
until I stop shutting the door.

I can’t be part of the world,
until I care about who’s in it;
I can’t learn to love war,
because no one really wins it.

I can’t try to change my world,
until I try to change myself;
I can’t live in harmony,
until I stop blaming someone else.

I can’t truly end this song,
until I say to you;
just do your best, and love each other,
and in the end we’ll all pull through.

I can’t really find a title,
so this is the song without a name;
I can’t be ready to leave this Earth,
until I leave it better than when I came….

Kathy
Poetologie
Nuts About My Son
Twenty Six Seeds of Love for Newtown

copyright 2015

The Voice in the Breeze

newtown rams pasture 2 geese green

You walked through a nightmare,
you have troubled sleep;
you tread very slowly,
and have many secrets to keep.

But you keep on walking,
each step is so brave;
you’ve cried so much, that your pillowcase,
is now torn and frayed.

Each tear is a memory,
each tear falls with hope;
that you will overcome this,
that you will learn how to cope.

With a pain and understanding,
that you shouldn’t have to bear;
but please hear my voice,
and know that I care.

I am the good in the world,
I am the voice in the breeze;
I will follow you, and love you,
and answer your pleas.

If you listen very closely,
you will see this is true;
that kindness surrounds you,
and helps you pull through.

You will learn to hear it,
this voice in the breeze;
you will follow it, and eventually,
answer another’s plea.

But, you will still feel the darkness,
try to draw you in close;
so reach out to others,
and the ones you love most.

For life is a journey,
of a hundred million steps;
some are easy, some take courage,
but just try to do your best.

And realize how special,
and how beautiful you are;
you can do anything,
and you will travel far.

And, as the miles,
start to cover what once was;
you will look back,
and remember all the love.

For love does not fade,
just like the voice in the breeze;
believe in yourself,
and you will learn to be free.

Now try to rest your head,
and please listen to me;
I promise you will be okay,
Love the voice in the breeze….

This poem is written for/dedicated to all of the children of Sandy Hook, CT.  It can also apply to many others facing trauma or adversity.

Kathy ❤

Poetologie