The Gifts…

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I heard this song on the radio last week, and immediately thought of the precious children…

And others in the tragedy in Newtown…

And those grieving for them…

“The Gift” by Brenda White

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Here are the lyrics…

Please insert your loved one’s name in “Grandpa’s” place!

“Grandma spilled some water…

When she fed the Christmas tree…

She said her eyes were blurry…

But she’d been crying seemed to me…

‘Cause of all the gifts God gave us…

One’s no longer here…

You see, Grandpa is the gift…

They got in Heaven this year!

So you might hear an angel singing now..

A little bit off-key..

But Grandma says his shirts stay white…

And his skin is wrinkle free…

And when Jesus opens this one…

She says Heaven’s gonna cheer!

Because Grandpa is the gift…

They got in Heaven this year!

Grandpa loved the snow…

Because he loved the snowball fight…

And Grandma says that Jesus knows…

What He got Himself alright…

Grandma said the reason…

We didn’t get much snow down here…

Is that Grandpa is the gift…

They got in Heaven this year!

Now someone else is gonna wear…

The cotton-ball beard…

I remember he used shaving cream…

Instead of it one year!

And Grandma says that Jesus gives…

Everything we pray…

So us kids got together…

And asked if Grandpa had to stay!

So you might hear an angel singing now…

A little bit off-key…

But Grandma says his shirts stay white…

And his skin is wrinkle free…

And when Jesus opens this one…

She says Heaven’s gonna cheer…

Because Grandpa is the gift…

They got in Heaven this year!”

Also, a dear friend of mine forwarded this e-mail to me...written by her friend's daughter who lives in Newtown, Connecticut.  I have her permission to share it with you!  It's very powerful!

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 “I thought I’d share some experiences here in town…

In case you were curious…

 It’s been a hard (almost) week here…

 Initially, filled with utter shock, fear…

 Then sadness and grief… 

 I spend most of my days either working from home…

 Or tootling about getting to other destinations either in town…

 Or in neighboring towns…

 Thereby going through town…

 Not necessarily Sandy Hook proper…

 Just town…

 I ventured out a few times earlier in the week…

 And was met in the grocery store with utter silence…

 Except for some light Christmas music on their intercom system…

 Which is normally fun 60s and 70s music…

 There weren’t many people there…

 And those who were…

 Were visibly numb…

 Looks of shock…

 Just staring…

 Moving in slow motion…

  Then there was the ride back from walking the pups in Field Hills…

 Which is a staging area for therapy…

 And overflow of police officers from the state and neighboring areas…

 I didn’t realize that ’til I walked past a field with literally lines of cars…

 All the same make and model…

 And realized they weren’t starting a used car lot…

 They were housing all the undercover cop cars there…

 And, of course, all the yellow crime scene tape…

  Then there’s the sirens…

 Or helicopters…

 Take your pick…

 But essentially if it’s not one…

 It’s the other…

 We don’t know if they are further “events”

 Or some sort of escort… 

 Recently, on the ride back from Field Hills…

 I was greeted with stopped traffic on RT. 25…

 And decided to take a short cut that runs parallel (by a cemetery….) 

 I turned and started up the side road…

 And ran into a blockade ahead…

 Which was allowing a funeral procession to enter the cemetery…

  It hit me like a wall…

 That everywhere I went in town…

 There was evidence of the massacre!

  Not just TV evidence…

 But palpable, touchable, hearable, physical, experiencable evidence!

  And this realization that some parent’s…

 Some “neighbor’s” child was being buried just then…

 Was overwhelming!!

 I found myself shrouded in such overwhelming sadness…

 I questioned if we really could continue to live here!

 Then it changed…

 We realized that unlike 9/11, or Columbine, or any of the other widely known events that have changed our history…

 We can’t turn this off!

 We can’t choose to just watch a different channel…

 Avoid the news, ignore the newspapers, etc.!

 We are living in it! 

 I have a new empathy for the people who have experienced these other disasters…

 And what it is like to not be able to just turn away…

 So I decided, if we can’t avoid it, and I really didn’t want to…

 Then let’s immerse ourselves in it!!

 So, last night after a light late dinner at a local place in town…

 We drove into Sandy Hook center, at about 9:30 at night…

 We drove past the memorial site where the large Christmas Tree is…

 We went right, came back, drove past the display of Angels on the hillside, turned around, went back to the left,

 Turned around again, and decided, “We can do this!” 

 We parked, got out, and went and experienced it!

  As I sit here sobbing…

 And trying to put into words something that cannot be put into words…

 I will tell you this…

 It was probably the most moving human moment of my life!

 The beauty that is there…

 The LOVE…

 The overwhelming love, the poetry, the symbolism, the words of peace, all the candles, toys…

 All the things any 6 or 7-year-old child would adore…

 It’s just unimaginable!

 It is sad…

 But sad in a different way…

  Sad that they are no longer here with us…

 And that they were taken away far too early…

  But what is even more prevalent, is the LOVE! 

 I cannot even express it…

 That and the sense of peace…

 There’s not a stitch of anger there…

 No one writing of anger or resentment or hostility…

 None…

 Just a huge garden of peace, harmony, tranquility, joy, and spirituality.

  It’s not something I think everyone can do…

 But if you’ve ever wanted to be a part of something so much bigger…

 And feel beyond your own needs/wants/feelings…

 It’s an experience I won’t ever forget!

 We both said we felt so at peace walking through the display…

 It was cold and windy out…

 And neither of us ever felt cold, hot, nothing…

 We just felt in the moment…Peace! 

 Sadness for the loss, but more peace than sadness…

 Today is another day full of funeral processions…

 I see so many people dressed in their funeral black best…

 And the police presence is huge…

 Cops from everywhere! 

 Yesterday there were about 5 cops on bikes from Yonkers! 

 We’ve seen them from North and South, all over… 

 I just got word that every Newtown Police Officer will spend Christmas Day at home with his/her family…

 As neighboring departments have tons of volunteers to stand in for their shifts…

 So they can be with their families…

 But these funerals will be over soon. 

 I think people can truly begin the healing process thereafter… 

 So, I no longer feel like we can’t call Newtown home…

 Now I feel proud! 

 I don’t want to leave….

 In fact, I’d like very much to get to know more of my neighbors…

 And be a part of this community!

 I hope more and more people feel touched…

 I personally have decided to take an oath with myself to try to do more random acts of kindness… 

 To have more patience with people…

 To realize everyone is going through something…

 Everyone has a story…

 So when someone is in such a hurry they cut me off…

 Or if someone is grumpy to me in a check-out line…

 Maybe it’s for good reason…

  Maybe they just need a warm, understanding smile…

 Or maybe that person is rushing to pick up their sick child…

 If I can be more understanding…

 Maybe someone else can too…

 If we all were a little more caring and understanding…

 Can you imagine how much nicer our world could be?”

 

 

Yes, I can!!

 

Amen!

 

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