A Truly Wonderful Life

I’m still stunned to be able to say I got everything done that I needed to do. I’ve been working on hats for Alex’s teachers for over a month now, and last night I finished the last one, just in time to pack up the gift bags (with the hats and some Candy Cane Lane tea) and send Alex in to school with his goodies one day before the last day before break. I like to send the gifts in the day before the last day, so the teachers have a chance to write thank-you notes back to Alex. Not to mention, the last day can be a little crazy; everyone’s deep in the holiday spirit as they’re trying to get ready to close up their classrooms for a week and a half. This isn’t my first rodeo.

This morning I got a reminder of the impact just one person can have on a larger group, if not the world in general. It’s almost a week since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, and I can’t help thinking that this time last week, everything was fine. Parents were shuffling their 6 and 7 year olds off to bed, reminding them that Santa’s watching. (Not unlike what I told Alex yesterday when he didn’t want to get his hair cut.) Kids went to bed and got warm and cozy, not even remotely expecting what Friday, December 14th would bring.

Since then, lots of people are looking for ways they can help. It’s not easy. I mean, what do you do for a parent who’s lost a child to such a senseless thing? There’s no understanding what happened or why. I can’t imagine there aren’t some parents who might be questioning their own sanity at this point. I know I would. How do you cope with something like this?

Yesterday on Facebook, the local newspaper posted a suggestion from the Connecticut PTA, asking people to make snowflakes and send them. It’ll be something for the surviving SHES students to enjoy, being virtually engulfed in snowflakes when they come back to school in January. I thought it was a nice idea so I shared it. (I’m going to try to make some snowflakes, too, but I’ll be lucky to keep my fingers intact.) My friend Lela, who’s a teacher living outside Dallas, TX, saw the link and decided to act on it. She asked her students to come to school today with their scissors; they’re going to make snowflakes to send to Connecticut. Cool!

Not that Lela wouldn’t have found something to do for the kids at Sandy Hook, but I managed to be a conduit for them to take action. I thought it was cool that the link from a small Montgomery County, PA newspaper made its way to Texas. I mean, who outside Dallas would have a clue what or where the Times Herald is? Maybe by making snowflakes for the kids at Sandy Hook, the kids in Lela’s class will feel like they belong, like they participated, like they can help people they don’t know, simply by letting them know, “I care what happens to you.” Maybe that will help connect us and make this world just a little better.

One person can make a difference. Don’t ever think otherwise.