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What to Say and How to Say It

What to Say and How to Say It

Wearing my town on my wristIt’s taking me a while to figure all this out, and I still don’t know what to do or how to do it. There is no handbook for the aftermath of … after.

what will people say? what if someone gets hurt? i have a responsibility. protect my friends. promote change. advocate. advocate. keep private. speak up. be quiet. protest. go home. talk about it. say nothing. hug. hide. what will Newtown think? what if no one reads? what if everyone reads?

I want to give up and go back to before: writing snarky commentary on suburban crisis, bad parentingcool teenagerswork-at-home quandary, and the many moments of beautiful nothing that culminate into what has been, thus far, a pretty good life. But that was before. And now there’s no going back.

A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. ~ Elbert Hubbard

Like much of the town, like much of the world, I need to do something. Doing nothing is no longer acceptable. Doing nothing lets people forget. Lets them move on, until the next one. And Newtown knows all too well there will be a next one if we don’t advocate for conversation.

. . .

We’re on a long overdue family vacation, and a fellow camper, a nice man, a Connecticut native from West Hartford now calling Boston home, asks where in Connecticut.”I grew up in Connecticut! Sooo, where you guys from?”

Green Sandy Hook bracelets cover my forearms. My teenagers are head-to-toe in Newtown High sweats. A Sandy Hook ribbon is tattooed proudly on the calf of my rather attractive husband.

“Now that sounds very familiar … now where is that? I feel like I should know where that is. What is it about Newtown … Newtown…Newtown? Um, where is that again? On the shore? Geesh, why does that so familiar?”

So I’m going forward. Reluctantly, not knowing if words can make a difference but not knowing what else to do, and I will not let people forget.

And selfishly, I feel lighter when I write. Since December, the world has just been so heavy it’s been difficult to breathe.

The greatest mistake you can make in life is continually fearing that you’ll make one. ~Elbert Hubbard

Another camper told me: “We need to hear these stories. We need to hear your stories. It makes it very, very real. Like it really happened.”

So with strange unsolicited encouragement of strangers, I’m going to write. About suburban crisis, bad parenting, cool teenagers, work-at-home dilemmas, schools, cancer, guns, mental health, and the reality that is Newtown.

The reality that is every town.

So that you don’t forget that this town is your town. And our pain, and healing, is real.

15 Responses

  1. For the masses, the human default is to push it down, turn the page, and carry on. Those that truly feel and heal carry it with them; speak, write, fight and weave it into their every day. The “new” every day looks and feels different for you but becomes strangely normal as there is a thread of this memory in your life now. What you and others share today & tomorrow, makes all the difference for the rest of us. Don’t censor yourself. Write as you see fit. Be true and raw, it’s what I want from you, my friend.

    1. thanks for reading, sharing, feeling. Censor has never been one of my strong points.

  2. Kir

    always and forever, I will listen to your stories, I will try to heal with you and do my best to never forget.

    please, with the voice that only you can offer, tell the stories.


    1. I’ll tell the stories, hoping kind folks like you read and share, and keep Newtown memory alive! thanks for the love!

  3. Anonymous

    So glad to see you back!

  4. You read my mind. Today I thought about what happened that day, the details. I noticed less signage around town but then noticed one I hadn’t noticed before near Holy Cow ice cream and thought, I’m glad to see that. I don’t know if that’s painful for the families but my thought was I don’t want them to be forgotten.

  5. JM

    Love your use of Elbert Hubbard quotes. Helps me organize my thoughts, my voice and my actions. Thank You.
    Keep on being selfish and feeling lighter – we are better for it.

    1. Thank you. Embarrassed to say, found him by complete accident and a life changer. Hope he helps you as well. thanks for reading and the Newtown love.

  6. Lisa

    Keep it up, we need your voice. Thank you so much for all you are doing, I know it is hard, which makes it even more valuable.

    1. Thank you for the kind words! It’s real life here. We can’t change the channel, and people need to know that before it becomes their story (oooops…Decatur GA almost almost almost….too painful to watch, hear, see!)

  7. Like you, I worry. For those of us that will never forget, whose lives personal and professional will remain forever altered, please keep writing. Keep telling those stories, your stories, so that the conversation never stops and real change can happen. That has to be the new normal.

  8. Appreciate you giving your words, sharing your gift!

    Love your voice. Glad it’s back.

    “So that you don’t forget that this town is your town.”


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