Are we there yet? vol. 144
I thought I was ahead of the curve by writing this week’s edition earlier than usual. Well, that adage about the best laid plans holds true once again. I was cooking dinner and watching the PBS NewsHour on Wednesday evening. December 14th marked the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting in which 20 students and six educators were killed. William Brangham interviewed Nicole Hockley, whose six-year-old son, Dylan, was murdered that day.
Ms. Hockley says that it is very difficult for her to believe that Dylan has been gone for a decade. "For me, Dylan is still this 6-year-old boy, forever frozen in time. This journey that we’ve been on for the last 10 years, it doesn’t feel like a decade, and it doesn’t feel like 10 years since I last held my son, either.”
In the aftermath of that day 10 years ago, Ms. Hockley focused her energy and time on helping to form Sandy Hook Promise. Their mission is to educate and empower youth and adults to prevent violence in schools, homes, and communities. She serves on the Board and her bio notes that she works every day to protect children from gun and school violence.
It was a very difficult segment to watch, but as my wife noted, we must hear those stories and talk about that pain and suffering or we’ll never make progress. As difficult as it was to watch, I was amazed by the grace and poise with which she presented herself as she answered one difficult question after another about the anniversary and about Dylan.
I, like many, continue to pray for those who were killed and their families. It gives me hope and optimism about the future when I hear stories like Ms. Hockley’s and how she works so hard to try to make sure that other parents don’t have to endure what she continues to endure.
Take care and stay safe.
Checkout 19 by Claire Louise BennettIn a working-class town in a county west of London, a schoolgirl scribbles stories in the back pages of her exercise book, intoxicated by the first sparks of her imagination. As she grows, everything and everyone she encounters become fuel for a burning talent. The large Russian man in the ancient maroon car who careens around the grocery store where she works as a checkout clerk and slips her a copy of Beyond Good and Evil. The growing heaps of other books in which she loses–and finds–herself. Even the derailing of a friendship, in a devastating violation. The thrill of learning to conjure characters and scenarios in her head is matched by the exhilaration of forging her own way in the world, the two kinds of ingenuity kindling to a brilliant conflagration.