I was horrified when I heard about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The first thoughts that flashed through my mind after I heard the news were for the parents. The moms who had probably already purchased and wrapped presents "from Santa" and had them hidden in closets throughout their home for children who would not be there on Christmas morning. I can't imagine their sorrow.
The tragedy hit close to home because my husband grew up in Newtown, CT. I had heard him talk about Newtown. It was idyllic. He had recently visited his childhood home. He showed me photos. His precious memories of Newtown are different from how most of us will remember it now.
I was disgusted every time I heard a newscaster talk about the "26 people murdered" in Newtown. Tell the truth, I thought. They were all babies. Even the teachers who protected those little souls were mostly in their twenties -- their heartbroken parents also in mourning for them.
I felt so hopeless and outraged that such an act could happen -- and so helpless. So I took on the challenge to commit 26 acts of kindness in honor of those precious angels who lost their lives. I'm sorry to say that as of now I'm only up to fourteen. Turns out I'm not very kind. Or this being kind thing is a lot harder than it looks. I'd also like to add in my defense that I'm not prepared to be kind. I don't carry cash with me, and I don't often go to Starbuck's where I could purchase a cup of coffee for the person behind me in line.
I have bought meals for the local food pantry. I've given change to a lady at the hair salon who didn't have enough to pay her bill. I've bought a bale of hay for the local animal shelter and contributed money for homeless pets. I've also given money to the homeless man outside of Vons and a kid selling candy in front of the mall. Still, it doesn't all add up to 26 acts of kindness.
I will not be deterred. I guess it's going to take me a little more time. I thought I could complete all 26 acts by the end of the holidays. But I'm going to need until the end of January. I want to honor each and every one of those angels. It is the very least I can do. Until then, can I buy you a cup of coffee?