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Worth reading

Posted by laurie on December 18, 2012

Phillip’s niece Gabrielle lives in Newtown, Connecticut with her husband Chad and their three children: 2-year old Coleman and 6-month old twins, Chasen and Chayla. Chad wrote this powerful and eloquent piece which the Hartford Courant published on Sunday. The link is here, but I wanted to include it all below.


Last year, not long after the birth of my first son, I decided to move my family to an ideal, safe American town — the Sandy Hook section of Newtown.

Friday, I was in a doctor’s office with my six-month-old baby when I heard about the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. I had told my wife just that morning that I would never complain about my long commute to New York City because life in Sandy Hook has been so nice.

Everybody in that office sensed something was very wrong when a mother received an emergency call and was told her daughter was in the school. She immediately broke down in uncontrollable hysteria, as doctors rushed to console and comfort her.

My kids are still too young to attend the very elementary school that will now forever be etched into our nation’s conscience. But every parent and every resident of this area knows the palpable pain that, although surely nothing compared to the victims’ families, brings a sense of deep loss.

Sandy Hook is just over 60 miles from Manhattan. Many people in this community probably moved here for reasons similar to mine. We wanted to give our children a good life, a safe life where they could play outside, run around with their friends, go to good schools with caring teachers and learn in a nurturing environment. We moved here because, like so many Americans, we want simple things in life: peace, security, happiness, love and a better life for our kids.

Last month, I brought my 2-year-old son for his first haircut in the middle of town. As I think about him sitting in a chair in the shape of a truck, playing with toys — his only fear the locks of blond hair falling past his eyes — I cringe to think of how many sat in that same chair who are now gone and of the parents who had life’s greatest gift inexplicably taken from them.

In times of unthinkable tragedy, we have a tendency to ask, “why?”

We know that there is no answer, no logic that can begin to make the order of the universe feel right at this moment. Perhaps we think that if we can find some explanation that makes a bit of sense, then maybe we can justify why we weren’t the victims, why it didn’t happen to us or why it won’t happen again.

Sandy Hook, however, proves once again that tragedy can befall anyone, anywhere, from the most innocent among us to the biggest, strongest, smartest, richest or most famous. We are reminded that life is precious and fragile and it can be taken away in an instant.

Just as we cannot make sense of what happened, we cannot pretend that there are silver linings.

We can, however, come closer as a community, to do whatever we can to help our neighbors in need. Perhaps we can even be a model for a fractured nation and show that, just once, sensibility and empathy can trump politics and agendas. This need not devolve into a rancorous debate about whether gun control or gun rights should trump. Instead, we should be talking about why love should triumph over hate, gentleness over violence and hope over despair. For a tired nation that has been embroiled in bitter bickering and partisan politics for years, those are not political points, but human ones.

I will never forget what happened in this little bucolic town and the lives that were forever lost and altered. We will all be reminded of it in some way every time we engage in the most mundane of life’s activities. We should strive to remember something else, however, as it difficult as it may be right now. There is a reason why many of us came to Sandy Hook in the first place. Let us fulfill our potential as a community and be worthy of their memory.

9 Responses to “Worth reading”

  1. Kate (Gandolf's mom, w/ memories of Kramer) said

    Wow. Very powerful. My heart goes out to them still, and I continue to pray. Thank you for sharing this Laurie.

  2. Joan said

    Thank you for sharing. Very moving.

  3. harperlea said

    Thank you for sharing this, Laurie.
    I echo Kate, Chad’s words are very powerful and I completely agree with his sentiments.

    • Rusty Bob, Maggie Mae and Odie Bug Jackson- Texas said

      We do too. I quake to think that politics will overide this time when we should only be thinking of those who have lost so much.

  4. Cathy, Gomez, Lily & Mr. Peabz said

    What a great essay: well-written, moving and most of all TRUE. Worth reading indeed.

  5. Cody and Henry's aunt said

    Very well written and thought provoking. I just wonder if anything can be done, even if strict new laws are passed, because there are so many weapons out there already. Thank you for sharing, Laurie. God, please bless and help the USA. We need it. Government officials: Don’t be arrogant – look at what other countries have done, particularly Japan and Australia. Learn from them, if it’s not too late.

  6. Linda UK said

    Thank you for sharing these moving words. It is impossible to comprehend the agonies of those involved and my heart & soul goes out to the bereaved. Please God that politics do not get a front seat in this tragedy.

  7. Peggy Michaels said


  8. Very Moving. Thanks for sharing. It makes you stop and think about the petty things that get in our daily lives and distort the more important things like happiness, family, friends and health.

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