this time last week

This time last week I was traveling north to be with my daughter and her husband, to celebrate the 1st birthday of our youngest grandson. A sweet little blue-eyed boy, with a sparkle in his eyes, and the infectious belly laugh of a one year old.

Happy Birthday, little guy!  I love you so much!

Rick looking up at me

This time last week, 26 lives were ripped from this world in a horrific shooting at a grade school in Newtown CT.  The lives of mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, grandmas and grandpas, were changed in ways that I can’t even imagine.  Changed in a way I don’t want to imagine, because it should never have to be imagined.  It just shouldn’t be.

The extreme contrast of the two did not go unnoticed by anyone in my family.  Our event was to celebrate a life, a milestone.  In Newtown, they were mourning. It was a tragedy.  Plain and simple, as there is just no other way to describe it.

My heart, it is so full.  It’s full and overflowing with the memories of the week-end, and struggling with the wide range of emotions.  The sorrow for the families who are in so much pain. The blessing of a wonderful husband, the gift of amazing children, and the joy of precious grandchildren.

I feel a little like Mary right now, “pondering all these things in my heart“. It was a very special moment in my life.  Our time together as a family was full of laughter, and hugs, and smiles. In Newtown, there are only hugs and tears.

And once again I am made aware of life and its brevity. How abruptly it can end, and how important it is to cherish my family each moment that we have together.  I am reminded by the powerful message of the inability to control, and I am overwhelmed by the security and knowledge that we are all in the Hands of God.

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My tears

I’ve been thinking about emotions lately, mainly the emotion of crying.  When and why do we cry?  What is the purpose?  Why do some people cry and it appears that others do not cry, ever!  I’m sure that there are scientific answers to the questions, but I’m really not interested in finding out what science has to say about my tears.

My tears surprise me.  They come when I least expect them, and they don’t come when I expect them too, and for that matter, when everyone else expects them too!  And the expectation of tears is yet another interesting aspect of tears.  Tears are often expected and/or anticipated by people around us, and yet when we witness someone crying, when we actually see the tears fall down the face, it makes us feel uncomfortable.  Why? Why do we squirm and look away, and not want them to see that we noticed the tears?

There have been several major events in my life when I fully anticipated to shed some tears, and did not.  I must admit, it left me a bit puzzled and wondering about my true feelings about the event. Perhaps it could be because the events were of a positive nature – weddings, graduations, births.  Shouldn’t I be crying?  Isn’t that what is expected of me?

So it would seem to me that tears are an expression of a feeling.  I would like to think that even though I didn’t have tears, I did have feelings about the event.   And I do! The feelings are just portrayed in a different manner, another expression.   A GREAT BIG SMILE!!

I don’t know.  I guess I might be the kind of person who saves my tears for the sad moments. I know that they will come then.  I’ve had enough of those experiences to account for that. Or, maybe I will be surprised yet again.