There are some things that are impossible to put into words. There are concepts that even as an adult I am unable to rationalize. When I got the call from the school district informing parents about the shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School my heart dropped into my stomach. The school is 30 minutes from my home. The kids involved were 14 and 15 years old; not much older than my own. I immediately put myself in the position of any parent at the school who, for at least some portion of the day, had no idea if their kids were safe. And then there were families whose whole worlds were destroyed.
In times of tragedy it’s hard to know how to respond. It’s easy to create distance from terrible situations and convince oneself that these kinds of things happen to other people. We insulate in our own busy schedules and wait for the sadness to pass, but does it really? It is important to remember that there is so much good in the world and that for every senseless act by one individual, there are thousands of acts of kindness every day. I make that my focus.
I chose to provide meals to two of the families who were living at the hospital and ultimately lost their kids in the October shooting. Warm meals and a few creature comforts may not seem like much but it brought normalcy to people who were trapped in a vacuum of sadness and shock. Just seeing a friendly face and having a normal conversation offered some degree of relief to them and I know the community outpouring overwhelmed them.
This time of year I think about those families and folks I know who have lost loved ones. The holidays are different for them. I wish them peace and invite you to do some good in their honor. It can be the smallest gesture but one with the best and most powerful results.