Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pouring my heart out & ways you can help Newton heal

I feel a little numb to what has happened in Connecticut. I don't know why. It's just too much to compute, it's a protective mechanism. I know it happened, I just can't wrap my brain around it. I see stuff about it and it makes me want to weep. I am just having a hard time, maybe I just don't want to let reality sink in fully.  For about a year now which is the length of time my husband has been at his current job, my eyes have been opened to those who will have to take those children's bodies (I say this with reverence) out of the school and all others involved. Never before with other similar shootings did I think of what the police, fire fighters, paramedics, OMI etc would have to go through. Not that I wasn't  aware that they would be there, I just didn't really think about what they had to deal with too, all my focus has been on the victims. I'm going to focus on the first responders for a moment because I now have a greater understanding of what they must feel like. You see my husband works in the Crimes Against Children's Division in the DA's office. He has to deal with stuff no one wants to see or talk about - molestation, rape, abuse, death. Those in his office are on call on the weekends and rotate this responsibility. During his previous on call weekend he was called out twice for child
deaths. He tries not to tell me anything about what he deals with but he needs someone to talk to too. I want to be strong and listen - I know he spares me a lot of details, but at times he just has to let it out - we all do, or should. Feelings have to come out because if they don't they will just bang around your insides and cause damage there. I'm not good at holding in emotion if there is something that's bothering me I don't bottle it up and choke it down I have to deal with it and I am glad I am that way.

One night my husband was particularly upset and disturbed by what he has seen and deals with and he told me more then he normally would and I tried to be strong and not cry but I couldn't hold it in, I bawled for those kids. How could this happen?! Why, why!? Parents are supposed to love and protect and they didn't do there job and now a poor innocent child is these children know they are loved, do they know their Savior loves them?  I have learned that it's okay to let your heart hurt for others to feel completely broken for others pain. We are quite resilient your heart may feel like it's exploded and shattering into a million pieces from sadness and pain, it's good to feel though even if it's pain you feel. All to often we go through life in a hurry worried about stuff that's usually trivial in the grand scheme of things so when you heart breaks it means your alive and it gives you purpose, it suddenly puts everything into perspective. The hard part is is to not let your life slide back into pre-heart break mode, I'm not saying to wallow in unending sadness just let the pain and the realizations you have because of it work positive change in your heart and life. Where is the comfort, where do I find solace? Where can we all find solace? In our Savior is where we will find peace not always a perfect understanding but peace that it will be okay. There has to be someone who knows what those kids felt, there has to be someone who knows and understands every ounce of pain and suffering they have been through that can succor them and give peace. It hurts my heart to think of those kids and their pain, to think of my Savior who felt all our pain. How was He able to do this? I don't know but I am sure grateful he did. My mind is to finite to understand, I know, but there are things I do know because the Holy Spirit has witnessed to me, quietly brought peace to my soul on more times than I can remember. I can't deny He lives anymore then I can deny my own existence. I have found no other peace in this world like I have found through Him.

Let me bring this all around. My husband who I tease is borderline narcoleptic, who is asleep when his head hits the pillow who can sleep anywhere, is waking up several times a night due to stress from his job. His stomach is a bit of a wreck and these are all normal symptoms for the kind of job he has and countless others like him have. My eyes were blind to what our first responders have to see and deal with, how do you process what you see? There isn't time! They are sooo busy putting out fires and jump from one to another with out any breaks. I have been thinking for the past few months about my husband and those like him who work tirelessly and see an unending stream of misery and pain in the world I wanted to write a post about it but was going to wait until January keep it lighter until after Christmas, but isn't this what Christmas is about - change, self-less service, love for our fellow-man.  I am going to interview my husbands boss next month about how we can help children who are suffering in our communities. I'm not sure where to start and that's why I am going to interview her. Lisa is a saint, anyone who can do this for 23 years is a saint. She does it for the kids, she adores children you can see it so clearly on her face when they are around her. We need more like her or do we just need to hear more about people like her? They are behind the scenes. Yet who do we idealize in this country? I don't even have to start you know exactly who. My husband's job isn't glamorous the pay sucks, there is no red carpet no one dying to get there autographs and a picture with them.

When I hear of new cases my husband is dealing with or horrific shootings my heart hurts and I want to make things better for them I wish I could take their pain away but I can't there is only one who can. I may not be able to take all their pain away but I can do something and I know that's what He expects us to do, to be His hands. If we all woke up to the pain of kids all around us we could really make some difference. First you need to set your house in order and then you get out there and make a difference dang it! The community of Newton needs to know their county loves and honors their pain and loss, we need to show them we care, this can also help set our house in order.

With all this pain it's natural to look for a way out of it and as I do I know that I have my Savior I can turn to, who can comfort me and pick me up. I don't know what I would do if there wasn't hope in Jesus Christ in what He can do for each one of us. To help the community of Newton, show love in some way. Cry and hurt, but then do something! Be moved to action! Don't look away from what you see, don't let what you have felt be in vain. If you felt to hug your children closer, if you have realized through this something about yourself or your life that needs to change, start working towards it with real meaningful steps, make those changes in your life permanent. We need to let our hearts ache for the victims and we need to show them our love let's not assume that other's will donate money or write notes or whatever else they may need. Let's ALL do it!

               A way you can show love to everyone
Print out kind notes and start handing them out. It's a simple way to bring joy to someone else's day. I left lines (really I did it for my daughter who needs lined paper) on one set so you could write in a little message or YOUR favorite quote. We will fill them out before I take them with us of course.
You are loved.jpg

Here are a few ways you can help those hurting in Newton:
If you would like to send some support in the form of cards or otherwise

                                                       Sandy Hook Elementary School
                                                             12 Dickenson Drive
                                                            Newtown, CT 06482

My sister posted this today on Face Book yesterday - Because I am a former PTA President I get emails from the National Parent Teacher Association. They asked for our help at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Here is what they said:

Welcome Students to a Winter Wonderland

When school resumes for Sandy Hook, it will be in a new building. Parent-volunteers are working to ensure that the students are welcomed back by a winter wonderland with the entire school decorated with as many unique snowflakes as possible. We encourage senders to be as creative as possible, remembering that no two snowflakes are alike. Please make and send snowflakes by January 12, 2013 to the Connecticut PTSA.

Please send all snowflakes and donations to:
Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514

(this list is taken from this site)
 1. Newtown Youth & Family Services is collecting donations for people directly affected by Friday's elementary school shooting, Donations can be sent via "Caroline's Gift," a fund set up in the 1990s by a local family in memory of their daughter. The Caroline's Gift fund offers financial support to families who are dealing with a child's terminal or catastrophic illness.
"Any donations made to Newtown Youth & Family Services will be donated directly to those affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting," a message on the organizations website says.
2. Newtown Youth and Family Services is located at 15 Berkshire Road, Sandy Hook, CT 06482. For more details on how to donate, call (203) 426-8103.
3. Another group accepting donations is the Newtown Parent Connection, which accepts donations on its website, Donations can be made via Paypal or any major credit card, and the organization says all donations will be donated directly to those affected by the shooting. For further details, call (203) 270-1600.
4. The United Way of Western Connecticut is accepting donations in a partnership with Newtown Savings Bank. Check donations may be mailed to: Sandy Hook School Support Fund, c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main St., Newtown CT 06470. You can also donate by credit card here: https://newtown/
"To several staff, volunteers and contributors, Newtown is home," the United Way of Western Connecticut says on its website. "We will stand with the community and everyone affected directly and indirectly by this tragic event as we face the days and weeks ahead."
5. Those who wish to offer voluntary assistance should call (800) 203-1234, according to the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

I was going to introduce you to Sheila from Pennies Of Time next month, but I just had to share her post about how to help the community of Newton too. She is awesome about being consistent and simple, traits I admire very much. 

If you know of other things that are going on that you would like to see listed here let me know. 

Thanks for letting me spill my heart out to you. All my love, 



  1. DeAnn, you know how much I love you. Thanks for sharing your heart.
    I will be sending some snowflakes for sure. We'll make them as a family as we always do and we will talk about how we need to be the light in this world because if no one tries to be the light then the darkness will overtake us. Thank YOU for being a light DeAnn.

  2. Wonderful post, DeAnn. My heart just aches for those children and parents and now all the people involved directly who have to see it upfront. Sister Ross is probably with the children right now, comforting and loving them. I'll talk to Jason tonight and decide which charity we'd like to go through...I think my boys will enjoy writing the kindness notes. I can even print some off for my YW for tonight. Thank you, again.

  3. I got an email from hipstitch(a fabric/sewing shop in abq). They are donating some of their profits to aps' title one homeless project. They also have a collection jar for those who just want to donate. I looked a little bit at the title one homeless page on the aps website and it looks like there are a few ways to help out the homeless kids of abq through them. I think I will start there.

  4. Beautifully written DeAnn. Thanks for speaking from your heart to my heart. <3 you 5.

  5. Thank you for sharing your experience and your husband's recent experiences. Excellent job articulating sensitive feelings and thoughts! I am eager to read your interview on Lisa. While working as a special education teacher for a children's residential unit, I would come home in tears everyday. Am eager to hear how Lisa does it! I always learn so much from others who can emphatize. Thanks for the list of ideas to help. I am eager to share my family's love for the Newtown Community by using those ideas!

  6. That was beautiful. My Dad was much the same way when we were growing up. I'm going to pass along the snowflake info to my school's parent council.

  7. What a wonderful post DeAnn. I think you say what so many of us feel. And thanks for being such a fantastic support to your husband. I know he won't be here forever (I wish!) but he is great at his job and really cares about what he does and is exactly where he is meant to be right now. And thank you for the kind words, of course. Always, always think of the kids. They are what's most important. God Bless you.

  8. This is such a good post. I needed to read this. So thank you! I think I will be sending in some snowflakes soon. That is something I can do!


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