Saturday, January 5, 2013

Moving Forward.

It's been a long time since my last post. These past few weeks have been ones full of grief and sorrow, anger, frustration, restlessness, sleepless nights, and so many other emotions it's hard to name them all.  How can we possibly wrap our minds around the terrible events that took place here, in a school I went to, in the town where I grew up, in the place that is possibly my most favorite place in the entire world and how can we possibly start to move on?  But it is time, whether we're ready for it or not.  Not time to move on, but to move forward.

I've seen a lot of people over the holidays and so many of them have told me they have been reading my blog and how much they enjoy it.  It's been very encouraging and I have felt bad that I wasn't ready to return to writing quite yet.  I'm not really ready now.  My mind is still filled with relentless thoughts about Sandy Hook and how sad I am about it.  But it's time to try and get back to normalcy.  Not to forget but to move forward.

So, I'm going to start by posting some pictures of my beautiful town over the past few weeks to give me, my blog, and my readers some closure to this event.  My town is amazing and that's never been quite as clear as it has been since December 14th.  There are no words to describe any of the things that have happened, everything is too cliche and not nearly powerful enough.  This is especially true when I am trying to describe the strength Newtown has. I have never seen the level of love I have seen in Newtown and from people around the world as I have seen recently.  It's.....amazing (again, a word too weak to describe the proper emotion)

Without further ado, here is Newtown:

This is my church, St. Rose, seen on the night of December 14th. Hundreds upon hundreds gathered outside to pray for the victims of this terrible tragedy.  Later, this church would endure funeral after funeral for the beautiful lives that were lost.  The world knows this church only because of this tragedy but it is also a place of joy and happiness.  It's the place where I made my first communion and my confirmation.  It's the place I hated going to once a week for CCD, and it's the place I attend Christmas mass, my favorite mass, every year.  I hope that the world will know this church not as a place of sadness and grief but of remembrance and happy times to come.

One of the first memorials set up in Newtown, at St. Rose.  26 candles for 26 Angels.

This is the entrance to Sandy Hook Elementary School.  The world knows this place as the site of a horrible crime, an unspeakable tragedy.  I remember this school as the place I sang Baby Beluga in my Kindergarten concert for my mom and dad, the place I attended SMART camp every year until 8th grade, and the place I had one of my first color guard practices. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I have all of these beautiful memories of this school and the kids who attend it now will probably only remember one day.

But I hope the world knows that despite the awful things that happened here, it is a wonderful place and it had many days full of happiness for everyone that attended this school.  And I hope it is a place that our angels in heaven can visit everyday.

One of my favorite items placed outside Sandy Hook.  Dear Mr. President....please, please, please!

26 christmas trees donated from North Carolina.  This was early on, just a couple of days after the shooting.  The amount of items that would collect here in the following days was truly unbelievable.  

No caption needed here.  God Bless the families.

My sister's beautiful contribution to the Sandy Hook memorial.
 "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil for thou art with me."

Sandy Hook center.  Make 1000 paper cranes and you get a wish. Sadly, the only wish anyone would make on this day is one that cannot come true.

Finally, a throw back to the wonderful days I spent at Sandy Hook School.  This was during my Kindergarten halloween parade.  Apparently, I was the only one who took Halloween seriously.

I want people to remember the lives lost on December 14th, but just like me, everyone needs to start moving forward.   I think the best way to do that is to remember all the wonderful things about Sandy Hook and about our town.

Things like our two dollar movie theater, the general store where you can still get bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches for 99 cents before 11 o'clock, the fact that all the stop lights in town go on blink starting at 10 p.m. because nobody is on the roads, the flag pole, which is the most iconic thing in Newtown and also the most dangerous intersection because theres a giant pole in the middle of a main road, our Christmas tree lightings, and most importantly, the fact that when you walk down the street or go to the grocery store you're likely to run into someone you know.  And even if you don't, you'll end up saying hi to someone just because it's a nice thing to do.  Don't remember Newtown for this tragedy.  Remember the lives lost and the amazing town that is Newtown. Most importantly, tell your loved ones that you love them everyday.  It's a phrase that never gets old and life is short.

 Newtown strong.  
Newtown proud.  

And that's all I have to say about that.  I'll get back to my regular blogging within the next couple days!

Stacy - Proud Sandy Hooker since 1986 :)


  1. I just felt like I needed to comment and say that this is all so very well said. It's been hard for me to be light hearted on my blog as well. I guess what makes it easier for me is that I don't live in Newtown anymore, and I don't get that constant reminder everyday. But I think about this every single day... and so I love the way that you talk about the good things about the town, and the fact that we need to move forward, but not forget. So very well said. Such a great post. Thanks for this. I needed this. =)

  2. Thanks Karla! I'm glad it helped you out, because it definitely helped me to write about it.