Yesterday was hard for me, I’m sure for you, as well. Valentine’s Day has always been more of a mother/daughter day for me, than a lover’s holiday. I relished surprising you with treats, trinkets, and cards to make you feel special. You always made me feel so loved with your homemade cards and appreciation.
But on this February 14th, the love and joy were whipped out from under us, again, with the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen families lost their loved ones in a moment of madness, Countless more were injured in ways physical, mental, and emotional. The devastation is terminal. It won’t go away with time. What happened yesterday can’t be changed. It is every parent’s nightmare.
I watched the three of you excitedly prepare for the arrival of your children – my grandchildren. You had purchased little gifts and chocolates for them to enjoy after school, along with the beautiful fruit arrangement, a gift from a husband to a wife, but eaten by all. There were flowers on the counter of the business I began twenty years ago, now passed down to my children – a place filled with hard work, pride, and love. The scene was idyllic.
My seven grandchildren, all healthy, intelligent, thoughtful, and kind, are a tribute to the parents who love them - parents who are quick with structure, praise, and love. Those sweet babies are a source of joy for me. I thank God for each of them. But more than that, I am grateful to you, my daughters - and sons, in-law and in love - who have birthed and guided these beautiful little beings through the obstacles of life.
I need to tell you, right now at this minute, how proud I am of you all, and how my worries are not of whether you will fail at the job of parenting, but whether this world will fail you. But, I must remind myself that you’re smarter than I am. You each know enough to look around you at the all the amazing people who are doing a wonderful job with their lives, and not become overly obsessed with news that can accumulate and depress you into thinking the world is bad. You understand the reality, but at the same time you find the joy to live your lives to the fullest.
In a world seemingly filled with chaos, anger, and violence, one must look to the sidelines and find the best example of how to live. It’s at those times, I look at you, my three beautiful girls, and see hope for the world.