We have reached the end of the third month of this new year and wow, what a month it has been. I feel that it has been longer than thirty-one days and also wish that I had a few more days. Time is moving so fast for me and if I listen to my mom, it is because I am older and should have appreciated time when I was younger. Well, I do not agree. I appreciated every moment before today and because I am wiser, feel that more time is needed to cherish all the moments life has to offer. And because of all these beautiful moments that I have lived, I sit here now writing my “chat” today on quite a different topic than I thought it would be on.
I feel there is only one thing I can write about…our children, whether you have your own or just the children that inhabit our nation. It has been another demoralizing and disappointing week to have lived through another school shooting. And here in our county, threats made to our two high schools that affected one of our middle schools as well. Sad, frightened, hopeless, and so many other feelings run through me, and none lead to an answer.
We all have heard and read all the different views on this topic, and I am not here to discuss any of those, to be honest. I am here to share with all of you, my heartache. I am mother of a teacher and a student. I am also part of a larger family that has children in our school system and of course, I am part of this community. To wake up each day frightened, as a mother, as an aunt, as a citizen is overwhelming. To think of all our children and teachers and school staff that must face this fear, day in and out, is beyond my comprehension. I believe we are here to create a better place for our children, grandchildren and honestly, all of us. We want better for them, we want the best for them, don’t we? We want all the good things to lighten their load in this road of life that we can all admit, is heavy at times. I know that all of us have experienced drills in our schools, but I cannot imagine experiencing lockdowns for active shooters. My heart literally stops just writing the words. How did we get here? How do we make our children feel safe in their school – the one place they spend much of their time in? How do we say it is okay, it was just a false alarm, go back to school? How do we not jump at the first alert that one of our schools is on lockdown and not know if it is a real threat or not? I can say that for all the children, staff and teachers living that lockdown – it is real. Those nerves, those fears, the unknown – is frightening to their core. Fear should not be the first feeling when we think about schools and fear should never be the first feeling our children, school staff and teachers should feel when going to school every morning.
There are many opinions out there on this and I do not have a solution. All I do know is that I share the despair, fear, and frustration along with all our parents and families dealing with this. There is disappointment and sadness in thinking of the future our children are heading towards. It does not seem better, if anything, it is worse than the future I was thinking about at their age. How sad. With no answer, I leave you with love… love your children every minute. Love the people around you because they may be the ones with your children when a lockdown occurs, and love yourself to be the best person. If we all start with love, good will grow and good people will do good things for others, maybe that is an answer.
Chamber of Commerce Director