Today, I asked my friend, Stacy to guest post.
Take it away Stacy!
Hi everyone, I’m Stacy and I blog over at Siriusly Craftables. Karla and I actually went to high school and did color guard together, and while our blogs have pretty different themes we definitely have one thing in common – we both call Newtown, CT our home. She asked me if I would do a post to talk about some of the really awesome and positive things I’ve seen in Newtown since that awful day on Dec. 14th. In order to do that, let me start from the beginning.
I remember that morning so clearly. I went back to my classroom after a meeting. It was 9:45 and I decided to check my phone to see if my husband had left me any good-morning messages before I grabbed my fifth grade reading group. But I didn’t have a text from my husband and I wasn’t prepared for the text that I had from my mom.
“Shooting at Sandy Hook School. No details yet.”
You know the rest of the story. You may not know the exact details or what it was like to be in Newtown on that day. It was painful. I’m not sure that I can explain the days following. They were awful, and as we listened to the details and the list of names came out we were disgusted by what had happened to those beautiful people.
I was lucky. All the kids I know in that school were safe, as well as all the adults I knew. I was lucky. I was lucky. I was lucky. That didn’t take away the reality of how truly awful it was. But you know the funny thing about awful situations? There always seems to be something beautiful that comes out of them.
So that’s why I’m writing here, on Karla’s blog today. Not to tell you about that awful day because you already know about that day – you already know that story.
I’m here to tell you about the beautiful things that have happened because of that day, least of which are the 26 beautiful angels we have in heaven, watching over our town.
The response was almost immediate. On Saturday the 15th, my mom, husband and I went to church and every kid was given a stuffed animal to hold. Later that week I went to visit two of my most favorite kids in the world and I was told about how they visited our town hall, which was filled with thousands of stuffed animals and they were allowed to take as many as they wanted. We still have thousands just waiting to go to a child in need.
|(this is my Aunt sorting and organizing stuffed animals)|
And then the banners started. Everywhere you looked there were banners to support our town. I haven’t driven someplace since that day without seeing a ribbon or a banner or a sign to support Newtown.
|(Banner over railroad leading into Sandy Hook Center – source – We Are Newtown)|
Most recently, as I was visiting my mom at work, at our town hall, I was able to see so many of the stunning creations that have been sent from all over the world. I got to read the beautiful, comforting words in letters and cards that people of all ages, sizes, shapes and colors had written - people from all walks of life supporting our little town. It makes me feel like the rest of the world is hugging us. I know that’s not possible and maybe it’s even a little silly, but this is how people have shown us their sympathy and the outpouring is remarkable. It helps.
It says, “Newtown, we may not have know those people but we understand, we grieve with you, we are sorry and we support you.”
Finally, I’ve seen Newtown come together like never before. We’ve always been a tight-knit community but the level of strength and support that has been shown since that day is truly incredible. These are the beautiful things that have happened because of that awful day.
Even as I write this I can think of 10 more things I could add to this list, but I’m sure you all don’t want to read a novel. I just hope that it doesn’t stop here, because while the rest of the world may have moved on we are just beginning to heal and we are still struggling.
I hope that Newtown has inspired us to change, not to take sides and fight, not to get political and debate, but to have real conversations on how we can be a better nation for our kids, for our families and for our communities. Don’t let the love stop here!
I’d like to share with you some pictures of my favorite items that were donated from around the world to our little town. They are truly inspiring!
(Some of these items came from as far as Africa and Italy. It’s hard to see in the pictures)
We are Sandy Hook. We choose love. And we hope you do too.