Blogging about the shooting in Connecticut doesn’t feel right. Not now, anyway. But as I watch the tragedy unfold in the news and I find my find myself unable to stop thinking about the innocent children who died and the grieving families who lost them, I’m reminded of a post I wrote a while back called “Happy Stories.” It was about my newfound obsession with owls (and my need to purchase them in abundance), but it was also about “The Little White Owl,” a book about a white owl who has no parents, no name and few possessions, but he doesn’t mind because his head is full of happy stories. Despite his heartbreaking circumstances, he chooses to be happy instead of sad.
I’m not suggesting the families who lost a child, a friend, or a loved one in the school shooting should simply think happy thoughts or choose to be happy instead of sad. No. What they are experiencing is unimaginable. Inconceivable. Unthinkable. Period. But for the rest of us (like me) who are unable to peel ourselves away from the news, who are wondering if its safe to leave the house, or who are feeling sad, anxious, helpless, or afraid, thinking about happy stories – about joyful, meaningful, purposeful things – might be a good idea.
I’m thinking about the sound of my boys’ laughter. I’m thinking about how our Christmas tree is bottom heavy with ornaments because of my two little helpers. I’m thinking about Riley’s magic tricks and how he makes things disappear (except they don’t) and how he says “abracadabra” every time. I’m thinking about how good it felt to carry Dylan’s heavy, sleeping body from the car to his bed last night after an evening spent with family. I’m thinking about the cruise I’m taking with my husband to celebrate ten years of marriage and about the chance we’ll have to rest, reconnect, and – just maybe – read a book. I’m thinking about my loving (and brave) parents who will take care of the boys while where away. I’m even thinking about owls.
Our hearts are heavy, our trust is broken, and our faith is being tested, but we must move forward. We have to believe that good triumphs over evil, that every innocent life lost is a lesson in compassion and courage, and that every one of our life experiences, including the really awful ones, adds richness, wisdom, understanding, and, eventually, happy stories to our souls.
You can read the original “Happy Stories” post here.
Editor’s note: Okay, maybe I did just blog about the shooting in Connecticut. I hope it’s okay. Sending prayers, light, love, and (eventual) happy stories to the angels and their loved ones in Connecticut.