Just a short post today, remembering those whose lives were lost or forever changed in last Friday’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
I had left the house Friday morning for a short school event for my high school senior, when news reports were sketchy, indicating there had been some kind of shooting and possibly one death. I recognized the name of the town as the place where my best friend from college had grown up.
On the way home, I passed one of our town’s elementary schools. It happened to be the day our local public high school football team was heading to the Georgia Dome for the state championship (which they won). The elementary kids were all lining the street with exuberant expressions on their painted faces – waving signs, cheering in anticipation of what I assumed was a forthcoming parade of the team. My daughter was already home from college, and, as an elementary/early childhood major, she LOVES kids. I couldn’t wait to tell her about how cute all those kids looked lining the road, decked out in red and white, herded by their watchful teachers.
When I walked into the house and looked at the TV, the horrific truth of the massacre at Sandy Hook was emerging. I raced to the sink, needing to retch. Needless to say, like the rest of the nation, my daughter and I cried through the unfolding story and many times since. No words are adequate, of course.
I stumbled upon this feature story of some kids in Ohio making art to send to Sandy Hook. During their Christmas program yesterday (Tuesday) morning, they also raised more than $600 in donations for victims and families. These are children from St. Michael’s Catholic School in northeast Ohio. For their creative project, designed by art teacher Cathy Bravis, each student is lending a fingerprint to make up a bouquet of flowers on a poster. The bouquet will be in a vase with the students’ signatures. Plans are for a parent to deliver the poster and gifts when traveling to the area over Christmas break.
You can read more here.
And, if like me you like to send cards, the US Post Office has set up a special post office box to receive messages of condolence. Here’s the link, and the address is:
P O Box 3700, Newtown, Connecticut 06470
I know I’ll be hugging my own family members a little tighter this year and will be thankful for the beauty and power of art to express emotion and help heal.
(If you know of other artistic projects benefitting Sandy Hook, please feel free to share a link below.)
Wishing you and yours peace this holiday.