Somber Christmas Post

I had tears in my eyes watching the Kindergarten students recite the Pledge yesterday morning...thinking about how it could've happened anywhere...what would I do in that situation...would I do the right thing...would I lay my own life on the line for students.  It's a scary world, and these innocent children have no business being thrust into it.  One of my coworkers had an excellent post yesterday; she put into words what (I think) most of us are feeling.  You can read it here.
Yesterday wasn't the easiest day for educators.  Here is a note that was sent to Mr. Principal from a parent of a second grader (who is the same age as some of the victims):

I know that you and all of the staff at ______  have a tough job every day, but today must be much more difficult than usual due to the events of last Friday.  As a parent, it sure was tough turning my only child over this morning.  But I want you to know that I trust that you, the staff at ______, and ________ Schools have done and will continue to do everything possible to keep all of the children in a safe environment while they learn.  All of you are in my prayers that you will have the wisdom and courage to do what needs to be done for the safety of the children.  I appreciate you!

And then I think of parents who have lost children way before their time.  Not only the students of Newtown, but children who have passed away due to illness or accidents.  I know parents who are having to endure their first Christmas without their children, and parents who have children who past away 2 or more  years ago.  Does it ever get any easier for them?  I can't even begin to imagine.  Then there are friends whose parents are no longer with them.

As I get older, I  can't help but start thinking about what the holidays will be like when my parents are no longer with us. With both of them being in their 80's, I know that time is coming, ready or not.  Even though we don't spend all holidays with them, I know they are there if we need them.
With 9 siblings, I wonder how the holidays will be. Will we still get together the weekend before Christmas, or will we all just go our separate ways? Thanksgivings have changed since our own families are older and some of our kids have kids of their own. We used to switch between having Thanksgiving & Christmas with our family & our in-laws. Mama was insistent that the grandkids have Christmas in their own house,  and that Santa comes to their own homes,so we would have our Christmas get-together the weekend before the big day. Since she & Daddy moved to Tennessee when they got married and weren't able to go home for Christmas, they were forced to start their own traditions. So, she was a firm believer that we do the same.
The Christmas get-togethers have happened pretty much every year. We've switched the location from my parents' to a sister's, and have switched from exchanging presents to just enjoying each other's company. I would like to think that these will continue, that this legacy that my parents have made will continue to be as strong as it is now.


  1. What a nice note from your principal.

    I watch the changes in traditions at our house--and I know it is part of the changing families. I still kind of long for the old days, but I love right now, too!

  2. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for parents to take their children to school yesterday. Yet we know that there are no guarantees in life and that God is with us no matter where we go, no matter what happens. That promise is what gives us hope in this dark world.

  3. I had a hard time at Mass Saturday evening watching parents with their children. One woman had two little girls. The younger one was too young to know what had happened but the mother kept reaching over and patting her head or her back. The older girl, maybe around 9, clung to her mother's arm all through Mass.
    Christmas definitely changes when siblings and parents are gone. I'm the oldest of three but both my brother and sisters are deceased as well as my parents. One of the sisters I live with is from Ireland so the two of us make dinner on Christmas and Thanksgiving and invite some of the sisters in the area who either have no family or whose families are in Ireland. It's becoming a nice tradition for us!

  4. What a beautiful note from that parent, I'm sure many parents were feeling the same way.

    Christmas traditions - ah, the source of so much stress sometimes. I love that your parents encouraged you to be in your own homes on Christmas and helped to facilitate that by hosting the "big" Christmas the week before. I, too, hope you and your siblings continue that tradition long after your parents are gone.

    The Man has 4 sisters and with spouses, significant others, and 2 nieces in the loop now, we've gone to having a gift exchange/secret Santa for the adults and we all buy for the 2 little girls. It really is fun to just focus on one adult to shop for and I know we all get much more meaningful gifts than when we were trying to budget for 10.

  5. All our principals met yesterday and we have a safety meeting this afternoon. I feel so unsettled right now. BTW....Christmas without one or both parents is tough that first year...and so far it has not gotten any easier...My granny used to always spend the night with us and my kids on Christmas was a children all consider it the greatest part of Christmas....

  6. A somber but very meaningful from the heart post, Mary.

  7. I cannot think about it without shedding many tears. So sad. Innocence taken. Innocence lost. I weep for those families who won't be celebrating with the same excitement as they had hoped. My heart breaks when I think of the last 4 or 5 minutes of the victim's life. No child should feel that type of terror.
    All we can do is pray. Pray for all who are effected. Pray for my own children. Pray that we can turn to God amid all this evil and find his peace.

  8. All educators and students are in my prayers! Such a tragic thing to happen!
    I often think about what will happen when my parents are gone. My dad is almost 81 and my mom is 70. I figure we have a while left with my mom, but know that every year we have with my dad is a blessing.

  9. Growing older, that is my fear too. People we love will die of old age and how about those we love who may pass from illness or some tragic accident. I don't want to live through that yet I know this is a part of life and people move on and life continues to go forward. It is on my mind often.
    I don't know if I can bear it.((HUGS))


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