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Friday, December 14, 2012

A post for parents everywhere ...

Tonight, I am very proud to call President Obama and his wonderful wife, Michelle,  fellow-citizens of the USA. I am even more proud to call our President a fellow parent.

I think we will all agree, the FLOTUS is and has been a model parent for all of us to admire and her efforts as a Mom were clearly stated when the family moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in 2008-09. Those facts on this subject are indisputable and I will attempt to tell you why I believe so.

The President's statement earlier today reminded us all that, whatever our occupation, we are first and foremost PARENTS.  Parenting is the REAL job.  Our occupations are temporary jobs, whether they are 25+ year careers in the business world or eight-year terms in The White House -- certainly one of the toughest jobs of 'em all.

President Obama took a few minutes today, to step back from his job and stand at a podium in The White House briefing room and be a parent.  In doing so, he helped countless numbers of fellow-parents who shared his pain as we sympathized with and mourned for the parents of some 20 little children senselessly murdered today, one of the two worst days of my lifetime.

Sadly, so sadly, we shared only 1-1-zillionth of the pain forever inflicted on the parents in our neighboring state of Connecticut. The parents, and all of their loved ones, maybe the parents of the parents - the grandmothers and grandfathers - who not only lost their grandchild but also lost their sons or daughters who will never, ever be the same. I just can't write - can't even imagine the depth of their pain, the horror of the parents of those 20 kids and the families of the other (adult) victims of the premeditated crime carried out in Newtown, CT.

One day, my ole boss and, now, thankfully, very good, maybe best friend, Brian, once said to me, "T, you won't even imagine the love you'll feel.  It is beyond anything you have ever felt in your life."

He was right. 

He was describing the love he has for his wonderful kids, Brendan and Catherine. He was teaching me the real meaning of parenthood.

It took me a few years to "get it," a term I often write about here. Amazingly, even though you love them and are amazed by them as newborns, somehow, the love actually grows.

To have that human relationship taken away in one instant on a 'normal' December school day is beyond the most horrific nightmare, beyond our worst fear, beyond comprehension for any peaceful human being. Even the worst moments of war would not allow for the close-range, direct murder of little children - even in the depths of hell on earth that is war.

I wrote it just before on FB as I tried to gather some thoughts.  I have nothing on this.  Just nothing left.  I will step up and will do my very best to be a responsible parent and I'll try and try and try to process this terrible, terrible experience of our lives.

My thoughts? Life seems to be much harder. It's been harder to live, harder to endure, harder to explain the countless tragedies, the unfathomable but regular occurrences of mass murders in these United States. Harder to endure the meaningless call for control(s) today and why they were not being called for yesterday or the day before.  How can it be discussed at this time? Plus, it's hard to know whether it would even matter.

I am typing but I am no longer writing. I am grieving, still.  My children are in their nice little bedrooms, safely tucked under their covers, yet they are still so vulnerable.  Why?

Yes, why?

That was the question my daughter asked of me.


And, I am struggling because I have no answer. And, I am struggling to be able to look my children in their beautiful eyes because they will see the tears welled in my eyes for days and days to come.

They are too smart, too perceptive to try to "act" or "pretend" around them, so I will gather the strength to provide to them some form of semblance or resolve or belief that tomorrow will be a better day and the sun will come up and we will endure and we can make a difference, maybe a big difference.

Tonight, I have no strength. But, I will rest, awake and I will try to do my REAL job, and like Barack Obama, I will be try to be a good parent.

May God Bless the families in Connecticut.  The prayers of a nation in mourning are being said for you all tonight, tomorrow and for a very long time ahead. And, we will, somehow, try to help you all.


Terry Lyons said...

We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would -- as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.

The majority of those who died today were children -- beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers -- men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.

So our hearts are broken today -- for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain.

As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago -- these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.

This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter and we’ll tell them that we love them, and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight. And they need all of us right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans. And I will do everything in my power as President to help.

Melissa Sher said...

This is absolutely beautiful and I thank you so much for sharing it with me. All the best to you and your family.