A Day of Remembrance for Sandy Hook

Everyone grieves differently.  Everyone copes differently.  Everyone moves forward differently.

No one’s right.  No one’s wrong.

We’re just different.

My sister used to (? maybe still does?) go sit at our dad’s grave and talk to him and leave him notes.  That doesn’t work for me.  I remember him in the way the back of Keller’s head looks and when I sometimes call my kids “pup”.  Or when I get the giggles about how loudly and joyfully he sang “Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains” every year at my grandma’s family Christmas party.

Not right and wrong…different.

If you read/follow a lot of blogs, you have probably seen that many are observing a day of silence today, and many more tomorrow.  I love what these women are doing.  I love to see the blogging community come together for good.

So why was I hesitating?

Silence isn’t right for me.

I don’t consider myself a writer.  I don’t know how to move people with my words the way other bloggers can.  I’m a mom who studied math and economics in college.  I sew stuff and make crafts.  Who do I think I am?  Why does anyone care what I have to say?  Maybe they don’t?  Maybe just one person does?  And, if that’s the case I believe it’s still worth doing.

From my personal Facebook page this weekend:

Oh Facebook…do you really want to know what’s on my mind?

I’ve spent the better part of 2 days holding back tears and feeling like I want to throw up. You see, I have a child the same age as the children killed in CT. He probably would have been in their class.

I also have a child who fits many of the things people are saying about the killer. "Weird. Socially awkward. Extraordinarily bright. Asperger’s. Subject to outbursts. Didn’t speak much. Didn’t like talking to people. Odd. Nervous and fidgety. Deeply uncomfortable in social situations."

It’s the same child.


I’m sick about what happened to children just like him.

I’m sick about what a grown child "just like him" did. Terrified, really.

So, Facebook, THAT is what’s on my mind.

I sat in church this week and cried when we sang the 3rd and 4th verses of “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day”.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

So now what?

I recalled the words of Gordon B. Hinckley in the April 1999 General Conference for my church.  I think they’re applicable whether you’re religious or not.

Let us return to our homes with resolution in our hearts to do a little better than we have done in the past. We can all be a little kinder, a little more generous, a little more thoughtful of one another. We can be a little more tolerant and friendly…It is our obligation to reach out in helpfulness, not only to our own but to all others as well.

Let’s be a little kinder.

Let’s be a little more generous.

Let’s be a little more thoughtful.

Let’s reach out in helpfulness.

Let’s do a little better.

Peace on earth, good will to men.

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  1. I did not know there was going to be silence. I too chose to speak on my blog. Not much politically, but to just say love, hugs, and peace to ALL! There IS good in this world…and we need to celebrate it!

  2. I think you are wrong, I think you do know how to move people with words, I think you have managed to sum up how most people are feeling at the moment, lost, scared, despair for the families. I live on the other side of the world and yet it has touched me deeply. Give all you love an extra hug today. Hugs Linda x

  3. I know just what u mean. I have a boy who could share their classroom….and another with aspergers. Oh how my heart aches. My boys r my life…..thank u for putting to words our thoughts.

  4. For mother’s with children suffering from Asperger’s or other illnesses you might want to read my blog. It’s called Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But it’s really the story of a blogger who wrote a post called “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother” and her fight to get help for him. She was told she would have to charge him with a crime to ‘get a paper trail started’ in order to get some help for him. It is sad that our system of help for the mentally ill has fallen apart so that we have to put our children in jail in order to get them help for an illness. Yes, I am sad for the families that had children that died. Yes, I do think additional gun control is one of the answers. But it is not the only answer. Our answers involve our country’s response to provide help to people who have mental illness of any kind. There is a reason it is called mental illness, because it is an illness. So don’t let our legislators only focus on gun control. Help them focus on people. People who need help and can’t get it.

  5. Thank you Char!

  6. Beautifully stated, Char. And, I hate to break it to you, because math and econ major or not, you are indeed a writer. :)

  7. Tracy Wineberg says:

    Whether or not it’s been the constant bombardment by the media, I do not know, but I have not shed a tear over the tragedy in Connecticut, that is until I read your blog this morning. From your love for your children, the verses from “I Heard the Bells” (one of my favorite songs) to President Hinckley’s words, it finally moved me in a way I really haven’t been moved since this tragedy occurred. Thank you.

  8. Consider yourself “good with words” because you most certainly are. Having a child with Aspergers, you came at this from a place I hadn’t considered. Thank you for your insight. We’re all grieving — just in different ways. I really appreciated your words. – Suzanne

  9. Love this, Char. Love you. Love your family.

  10. I love your words, and I also have a child with Asperger’s and a child of the same age.

  11. I’m actually trying to finish a printable as we speak of those two verses of that hymn. That is exactly where my heart has been this weekend. Your FB post was so poignant and really made people think. It drives me a little crazy that everyone thinks they have the answers. More gun control. Less gun control. More health care. I don’t have any answers. I just hope we can find enough peace to go forward and share it with those we influence–doing the things you’ve suggested at the end of this post.

    Thanks for not being silent today.

  12. Those two verses…spot on. Thank you for sharing your feelings.

  13. Thanks for sharing this. It was comfort to me as I too have a child the same age as well as one that features a lot of the same personality traits – even though he’s just 8. Keep sharing the light….

  14. Spoken beautifully. Grateful for the ways God shows Himself in such events…a brave teacher, a full church, a tearful hug, a comforting hymn, a thoughtful blog. Thank you.

  15. Roxie Moreland says:

    What a wonderful article. I know it is hard for you to share about your son being different. I’ve worked in schools with kids like him and they are a real joy just different but aren’t we all? Isn’t that what makes our world great is our difference? I do wish there was more help for families out there that struggle with mental health issues. My family hasn’t gone untouched either. I have an uncle who is schizophrenic and a grandson who has Asperger’s. My heart goes out to you. Keep up the wonderful blog. I love it!

  16. Thank you for sharing these words. Sometimes it’s better to speak up than to stay silent.

  17. thanks for a beautifully written, obviously well-thought-out, heartfelt post. {one that i’m sure wasn’t easy to write.} and i felt the same say about “i heard the bells on christmas day.” except i was playing the organ and it wasn’t easy to see the music through my tears! peace on earth is what we are all praying for.

  18. I love you.

  19. Hillary Smith says:

    Thank you, Thank you. Thank you for your words. I love every bit of “crap” you make AND say. We sang that song in church yesterday too! What are they trying to do to us? It was all I could do to not sob. And I have a barely 7 yr old girl. I’m heartbreakingly sad when I think of all those sweet kids her age.

    You write and say things just how I see them in my mind but can’t seem to get them out of my mouth. Thank you from a stay at home mom in Santaquin. Hillary Smith

  20. Thank you. Thank you so very much.

  21. You touched my heart Char.

  22. Thank you for speaking up. Prayers to you and your beautiful family.

  23. this is beautiful Char.
    Thank you.

  24. Brandy Miller says:

    Wow Char. Powerful. Thank you so much for speaking up and sharing your thoughts. It makes me think.

  25. Thank you for sharing your thoughts today.

  26. Freaking Char you made me cry! And I don’t like crying…
    HUGS to you! (’cause I know you don’t like hugs!)

  27. Char, love to you and your family. I’d hug you today if I saw you. :)

  28. I always care about what you have to say! I love you and that boy! He is so lucky to have you and vice versa. Hugs! (cept I will keep it a virtual hug since I know how you feel about such things :)

  29. Your Facebook status made me tear up; this post did the same. And I’m not one who tears up easily. You AND your children have amazing, wonderful, beautiful spirits. I feel so blessed to know you.

    Oh, and you can no longer say you’re not a writer. No one will believe it.

    Love you.

    P.S. I am on my iPad so this comment is totally kosher.

  30. No dude. You are getting an ACTUAL hug for this. And you are an amazing writer. I hope you know how much I love you. How much I love your whole family. How much I think God made it so we would meet an become friends. How much my life would be sadder without you. You are an amazing Mom. That boy is amazing. All your kids are amazing. The oldest is hysterical and has a self-esteem that I am jealous of. The next is sweet, but a bruiser at the same time, and I love that. The next is sweet, and is apparently extremely cute and nice. And the last is the best snuggler in all the land. The end,

  31. Lauren in KC says:

    For a woman who says she isn’t a writer, you do a phenomenal job of it. Beautifully written, well said.

    I sat at my desk and cried on Friday, sat in my car and cried on Friday night on my way into the fabric store, and have cried over and over all weekend and into this morning. My heart breaks for the little children, for their families, for their teachers and those families, too. Unbearable, unspeakable, unfathomable. We keep asking, “WHY?”, but will there ever be a satisfactory answer?

    I also have a young son with Asperger’s and have been afraid for him while this gets played as a condition it’s not all over the media. If one understands the Aspie mind and motivations, it becomes clear that there were other psychological issues at work with this man. I wish to God nobody had ever pointed that out about him, because of the damage and stigma it will attach to our sweet, exceptional children.

    There are others of us out here. You are not alone. You are a fantastic mother, wife, and person. I don’t know you personally, but I know this about you.

  32. Your post is wonderful, Char! Thank you so much for not being silent today and sharing this with all of us. I hope that people can come to understand things like Asperger’s more so that there will be less stigma about them in society.

  33. Char – I love you. You are an amazing mother, writer and friend. Your kids are amazing and so lucky to have you as a mom.


  34. Char,
    You most certainly do know how to touch people with your words. I think anyone who speaks from heart touches others. You did that and it certainly touched me.

  35. Thank you so much for sharing. I do not believe Aspergers had anything to do with what happened, but a host of other factors. And I hope no one is foolish enough to believe otherwise.

  36. Love ya lady!

  37. I love this! and I love you! You did a great job with your words and I admire you.

  38. Beautiful words. I sit here thousands of miles away from CT and I want to cry too. I want to cry for all those angels who have gone to live in heaven, I cry for the little boy who was so tortured he could do something so terrible, I cry for all the families affected by this unthinkable tragedy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts they have really touched my heart today.

  39. I want to hug you. And then apologize for hugging you but not really mean it.

  40. Oh, Char. I just got goosebumps reading this. No amount of anger or finger pointing will undo the terrible tragedy. I agree that we need to love, protect and serve eachother.

  41. Thank you for speaking–it was perfect. ♥

  42. I will never understand why you don’t consider yourself a writer Char. You are the most “real” writer I read. When you write. I hear you voice. I feel what you feel. You move me. What a beautiful post. I love you.

  43. For a woman who says she’s not a writer or moves people with her words…. You did an excellent job.
    Just now

  44. And by the way that expression is priceless on the little Dude

  45. Love you. I thought your words were perfectly stated. Sending a virtual hug…since the other kind is offensive to you.

  46. Beautiful post. You’re right. If we’re each kinder to others the world is a better place with better outcomes. Thanks for the reminder. x

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