This blog will be bits and pieces of my rather simple life, but should provide my daughters with some things they may not know about me. There will be entries here when thoughts come to mind. The posts will be mostly anecdotal and will deal with interesting or unusual events in my earlier life. As a person gets older, many memories pop up periodically about events of the past. I want this blog to be a repository for some of these memories which I wish to share with my daughters.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
DECEMBER 14, 2012: A DAY WHEN EVERY PARENT SHEDS A TEAR
"I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do." President Obama on the shooting of the children in Conn.
With the killing of 20 elementary school children in Connecticut, yesterday, every parent went home to hug his child.
With you, Christy, in Buffalo and you, Tiffany, in Stockholm, I could only think about you and hug Elizabeth and Sadie.
Such an event makes every parent, who has not lost a child, to be grateful for his children, and it brings up a headful of memories about their children and the parents who have lost their child.
I think of those 20 precious lives that were snuffed out and the tremendous grieving that their families must suffer. The loss of a child must be the most horrendous event in a person's life, and I think, often, of your grandparents and how they suffered the loss of their dear and sweet daughter, your aunt, Leigh. What an abundance of life and joy she was during the time I knew her. Your grandparents (and your mother who lost a sister) are marvels to endure the hurt of such a loss. What strong individuals they are to go on with their lives while their hearts will forever ache at the loss of their daughter and sister.
I think of the two of you in kindergarten. Though through the years my memories of each one of you is often confused by the event in one child's early life with the others.
I recall the conversation I had with Mr. Chandler, Christy's principal, before Christy started kindergarten. Perhaps I was a "helicopter dad," but I wanted to see what the school offered that would enrich my sweet child. One thing I do recall about that conversation was asking him about a foreign language and being told that there may be short pull-out program in language, but the actual study of foreign languages didn't begin until jr. high school. Little did I know at that time that Spanish would have been a wonderful language for Christy to start on (OK . . . you did get the "Deo" song with the "uno, dos, tres . . ." Spanish) since your future love and lifelong partner would have Spanish as his native tongue. Of course, Swedish wasn't a choice for Tiffany, but she did just fine picking up her husband's native language.
I think of how difficult it was to leave both of you at school on that first day of kindergarten knowing that your mother and I were no longer the only influence in your young lives to make you what you were to become.
I think of Tiffany going to preschool and meeting her first real friend, Linda Gail. I see Linda's mother often at Averett, where she now works, and whenever we stop to chat, the conversation always - ALWAYS - turns to your early friendship, and I see a large smile on LeeAnn's face, and I'm sure she sees the same on mine.
Those early years were great, and I am so truly fortunate to have seen the two of you grow up and find wonderful husbands and wonderful careers. And then I think of what those parents in Connecticut have lost and what they will miss and how their memories of their children's early education will be only the few short months they were in school. And then I cry.
Perhaps these are ruminations of an old man who is so proud of his daughters and looks back on the joy they have given me, but as I write this, my heart breaks for the families in Connecticut and tears fall down my cheeks. What an emotional time this is with the holidays upon us, and such a tragedy brings out so many emotions that they are difficult to contain. Since I'm not close enough to hug you, I write and send my love to you and your husbands.