Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Meaningful action

There’s nothing more to write on Newtown that others haven’t already (and so beautifully, too) said – like these words and thisI will say we live very near to an expo center in the Philadelphia area – and drive by it regularly to go to Target, or the grocery store, or wherever – and they had a gun show this past weekend.   They have shows for everything: Western pottery, quilts, outlet sales for Lilly Pulitzer or Boden, reptile shows, the national dog show films there, and so on and so on.  I actually go twice a year to a children’s consignment sale where I purchase the bulk of Annie’s clothes.  So having a gun show was nothing new – we’ve seen the signs for them in the past – but the lines, the gridlock to get in, the sheer volume of men – was very real, and very unnerving.  I have never – in the five years I’ve lived here – seen crowds like that.   Our gun culture is very real and also very frightening.  

As a mother – and like any parent, or any American, or, really, anyone – I feel like I have been punched in the gut and have yet to exhale.  I’m sure you feel it too.

I couldn’t get an early train out of the city on Friday and when I finally picked Annie up, I drove home with mascara tears, saying, “I’m crying because I love you.  I’m crying because I’m so happy to see you.  Please don’t be scared, I’m sorry, your mommy is just sad.  Something very bad happened today but you are OK and I am OK and daddy is OK too,” and then, a peppy squeak of, “Now, what do you want for dinner!?”  Annie may have been asleep, or just tired, or just a quiet almost 13-month-old who can only say “dog”, “hi”, and “bye”, but of course she was silent as we drove through Valley Forge Park on our way home.

So, here we are.  It’s Tuesday and it was a fine day: I just finished a big sweet potato pound cake cupcake (heavenly) left from a lunch I threw for our interns.  Workloads are winding down in anticipation of the holidays.  I took next week off.  Matt and I carpooled today so I’m getting picked-up at the train by him and Annie – my Corolla chariot.  But I can’t quite reconcile this ordinary day and feeling so very helpless.  And hopeless.

I suppose I wrote a lot for not wanting to write about what happened this past Friday.  But that horror is deep in my veins.  I am not a religious person – but I want to have faith – so I whispered my meager thoughts of hope and healing and wished them to the heavens.  Then I looked at my little girl – my shimmering star burst, my light – and said we need to do better.  We need to do right by them.


To add your name urging Congress to introduce gun control legislation, please visit the White House’s “We the People” site.


  1. Done. Also thinking maybe I should contact the Expo center to express concerns about having a gun show there. I think there are lots of things we need to do to make life better for all our children. I know I am searching my soul about what I need to do. Thanks.

  2. Nancy - that's a good idea. The gun show loophole is frightening (unlicensed sellers, lack of background checks...). I will do the same, along with contacting my Congressman. If any silver lining can be found, it's the momentum of a call for stricter regulations, and I don't want to simply forget until the next tragedy.

  3. By the way, I just so sickened by the ignorant, obtuse measures the NRA proposed today to reduce school gun violence.

  4. Kathryn - I was very moved by your post the other day -- you're a great writer. You and Nancy are right about taking action. Cyndi sent a petition, which you may have seen; it felt good to do something tangible. It seems like the NRA is getting a lot of negative press for the comments today. Debbie S.

  5. Thanks, Debbie! I think taking action is the only way to digest these horrible tragedies. It was so wonderful seeing you, Rob and Joel in NY!