At the start of every New Year, many make resolutions and most having every intention of keeping them. However, as the days and weeks pass they often are forgotten or set aside, replaced with the activities of everyday life!
With all this holiday festivity, it may be hard to understand how there's room for anything but Merry; yet every year I struggle with mixed emotions. As much as I want to embrace all the cheer around me, I also feel stressed by all the preparations; I miss my family and the memories of Christmases past.
This month marked the two-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. In a report on State Mental Health Legislation in 2014, NAMI noted that on the first anniversary of the tragedy last year, Americans could see progress flowing from both the White House Conference on Mental Health and state legislation. This year, progress has slowed.
To all of you who, like me, struggle through this time of year: Please be gentle with yourself. If grief visits, let it. Reach out if you need help. Set clear boundaries and don't be afraid to honor them even when you're feeling pressured not to. Don't force things.
What changed for my family in the two years since Newtown? One word: treatment. Before Newtown, I was afraid to speak up and demand help for my son. After Newtown, in large part because I shared our family's private tragedy, my son, unlike Adam Lanza, got the help he needed.
It hurts. It just hurts. You suppress your feelings as much as you can because you fear if you really let it out, you would never recover. And here's the thing -- you didn't have to be that mom. For all the moms and dads reading this now -- this doesn't have to be you.
In the days and weeks following December 14, 2012 I was left reeling. I was searching for answers (that would never come), desperately trying to regain a sense of security and safety.
Today, Natalie is no longer concerned with pretend monsters because she learned -- in the worst way imaginable -- about the real threats to our families and communities.
We cannot ignore this simple truth: Too many shootings occur because improper weight is given to the risks that come with gun ownership, particularly in homes with children and teens. A gun in the home increases the risk of an unintentional shooting, suicide and homicide.
I walked back into the room of my youngest child, just 8, crawled under his covers, bruised my butt on a light saber and closed my eyes. I prayed for all the families in Newtown, CT, and humbly gave thanks for receiving the gift of more time on this earth to relish the disarray of being the mother of three boys.
In the past two years, there have been 95 additional school shootings. Another 60,000 Americans have died by gun violence. Is the cross lobby no match for the gun lobby?
As we mark the anniversary of that heart-breaking event of Dec. 14, 2012, her words echo in my mind and prompt me to re-post the meditation I wrote at the time, "Light in the Darkness."
Lindell knows about 9/11, and he's overheard things about wars, so he's not completely sheltered. But for some reason, I could not look at his face and explain to him what happened at Sandy Hook.
This year, I ask you all to honor my mother's life with action. I ask you all to take one small step to honor her, and all of the others whose lives were taken far too soon by gun violence.
There has been a lot of attention in recent years to how both scholars and politicians contribute to moral panics, both on a wide array of issues and on the issue of video game violence specifically. The story of Adam Lanza is no different.
"When you teach kindness, love and empathy, there is no room for hate." Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis On December 14, 2012, teacher Kaitlin Roig-DeBell...