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Choose LOVE

Posted Dec 17 2012 8:17pm
On Friday, like most, I read in shock, horror, and sadness the events that transpired at Sandy Hook Elementary School. While I had heard some things early in the day, it wasn't until mid afternoon, while the twins napped that I read about it more in-depth. And then, while they slept only a few hundred feet from me, I had the overwhelming urge to run to them. To wake them, hold them tight, and tell them I loved them.  They aren't my children, but I've been with their family since they were 4 months old. They're coming up on their 3rd birthday in a few months. Needless to say, I feel like I'm part of their family. I would do anything to protect those children, anything to make sure they are safe. Anything for them to know they are loved.

One of the most amazing, hope-inducing things that comes from this horrible tragedy, is finding that amidst the awful things, there was true love and compassion in that school. Teachers that risked their lives or let their lives be taken, and held children close to show them they were truly loved.  That it proves just how important teachers truly are: caring so deeply for the livelihood of their students.

Yet, my heart is heavy for obvious reasons. There are 27 lives that can never be restored. 27 innocent lives that were taken too soon. And what makes it worse? Is that I've seen on multiple forms of social media, people attacking others to stand by their beliefs on gun control and mental health issues. These are important issues. They need to be addressed, I understand that. But, please, in this time of tragedy, choose love first. Not belittling others, not hate or animosity towards other innocent people who think differently than you. I WISH it were as simple as changing things in a matter of a day, but it's not. But, it is as simple as loving someone each and every day.

I hate the fact that tragedy reminds us how precious life is, but it's true. Life is precious. We only get today, this moment, as a certainty. So cherish it, cherish the people you love. Choose love, compassion, and the belief that good does trump evil. Hold the ones you love as tightly as you can and remind them, often. I feel utterly grateful each and every day for all that I have. For Ryan & Gizzy, for the fact that I have 23 immediate family members between my family and Ryan's that love and support me. That I have friends who care about me. That I have a job, with two little boys who always tell me, "Love you Muck" (how they say Meg) every single day before nap. That I have my health. And that I have been afforded opportunities in life like going back to school, traveling, and experiencing some amazing things.  For all of those things, I choose love. I remember to hold them tight, to tell them I love them, to appreciate them and not take them for granted.

all of my fam + ry this past Easter

Ry and his mama
Ry's sibs (his dad doesn't like to be in pics, don't know if they want the kiddos on the blog, plus also include his brother in law, and his sister's fiance).
my sweet "grinchy" puppy wearing his grinch bandana
If you remember, last year around this time, I wrote the post about "first world problems: the real edition". It had a similar theme. I'm saying this just as much for myself as for anyone else. Hug the ones you have, say "I love you" often, know that there are terrible, awful people in the world, but also that there are amazing, kind-hearted, loving people too. If you have a child, take care of them. Hold them tight. Make them feel special, even if they're different. I'm a firm believer that often there are so many people who are messed up in the world because no one chose love for them. They chose animosity, indifference, to shun them because they weren't the same as them. Rather than choosing love and helping, they chose hate and turned their backs. How can we ever expect change if we don't accept differences? Whether that's differing beliefs, different mental states, different ways to love. 
I wish I had answers for why a tragedy like this happened, but I don't. All I can do now is choose love, support those in need, and be grateful for all that I have in my life. As a tribute, I ran 2.7 miles and wore their school colors of green and white today: 2.7 miles for 27 lives gone too soon.

It's obvious that things need to change, but whatever those changes are, they need to be rooted in love. In remembering that hate doesn't solve problems, it only creates more problems. If we want to be shining examples for the children who did survive, we have to prove to them that not all monsters are real, and that love can get you through it.
Sending love to each and every single one of you.  And a virtual hug.  
And because I don't want to end on too serious of a note, here is two happy things for my day:
Ry and I got into Cherry Blossom ten miler!
and I'm all set for my first race of 2013! The Auto Show Shuffle 5k: .  It takes place Jan 19 in downtown Detroit. and you also get a discounted entry into the Auto Show! Anyone else in?
Let's chat:
-How are you showing your loved ones today/recently that you love them?
-Tell me one thing you feel grateful for right now?
-On the lighter side, anyone else get into cherry blossom?
-Who else is in for the auto show shuffle?
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