Giving Back, in honor of….

It’s hard to believe that this Saturday marks the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting. This particular shooting is something that I talked to Jayden about. This beautiful kid of mine is smart, funny, and quirky. He is also obsessive, worrisome, and a major planner. He is a creature of routine, and has a hard time with change. So, I always feel that it is best to talk to him about things in life that could be unplanned. I am always telling him that he has to learn to go with the flow, and think on his feet. So anyway, I used this particular tragedy to talk about bad things that could happen, and ways that he could try to stay safe in an emergency. I encouraged him to look for the people that are doing the good things, like protecting and keeping others safe. I told him that no matter what, his dad and I would always be proud of him, and that we would always be doing our best to get to him. It feels harsh, morbid maybe. But, it’s life, unfortunately.

I can only imagine the gut wrenching pain these parents must feel, and I am sure it is even worse than I think. I have tears in my eyes as I think about how scared those children must have been. Jayden is the light of my life. He was not planned, by a long shot. There have been struggles, and heart break over the years, more so for me than him. But no matter what, he always makes me laugh. The kindness he has in his heart often amazes me. He and I have a special bond, because we have been so close, joined at the hip, for so long now. I just can’t imagine if he were gone…

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As I read the story about the upcoming Sandy Hook anniversary (see below), I marvel at the strength of the parents. How they are remembering and honoring their children, and asking for privacy as this date approaches. The community is encouraging others to give back, in honor of the lost lives. And I think this is so wonderful, and such a great idea. To focus on the good, instead of the evil. That is the only way to keep going, to keep living.

There are so many ways that you can give back. It doesn’t have to be some huge gesture. When going through the Starbucks drive thru, pay for the person behind you. Visit a nursing home, and say hello to some of the residents. Go to a local animal shelter, and give a dog some one-on-one attention. Donate gently used items to a rescue, children’s home, library, or church. Volunteer your time, in some way. Even if it is just for 10 minutes, you might be surprised at how much joy you get out of one small act of kindness.

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Since my passion is rescue dogs, I increased my volunteer hours at the shelter for the weekend. Even though, I do have two rescue events to attend, soccer practice, and 3 dogs of my own (including ol’ man perma-foster), as well as a house that needs serious cleaning, and a billion leaves to rake up. Will my weekend be gone in a flash? Will I be exhausted when Monday rolls back around? Yes…but it will be worth it. I will know that I did something good, for another being that needed my attention and love.

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Have you ever given back in honor of another person? What do you do to “pay it forward”?

Here is the story about the upcoming anniversary: http://www.wncn.com/story/24173531/newtown-seeks-privacy-as-anniversary-of-sandy-hook-shooting-approaches

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3 Responses to Giving Back, in honor of….

  1. Claudia says:

    Timely and wise words.

  2. Lenore says:

    You brought tears to my eyes with your words…Newtown is relatively close to where we live, and being a mother of just one child, it is so hard to imagine the pain of the parents who lost a child. Every time I hear one of them speak on tv, I think of their courage and how they are using their pain to change the world in which we live, the ultimate act of paying it forward. You are a wonderful parent.

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