Red twinkling lights welcoming the Christmas season.
“When I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep. And I fall asleep counting my blessings.” Irving Berlin gave me the words I think of often. This holiday season I am truly counting those blessings. I am surrounded by blessings.
For days I have started this writing only to find myself at a dead end. Now for a woman who has a head full of words, this is alarming. This holiday season began with excitement and anticipation then this changed. The change came with red flashing lights. Just a few days ago there was a shooting at the mall. I heard from many of you checking in to see if me and my family were safe and well. Thank you for your concern. The Clackamas Mall is on the other side of the city yet one we visit. The woman who was killed was the hospice nurse for a friend of ours. The man was a friend of one of my friends. Too close to home. Flashing red lights.
This morning I wake to find that there has been a shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. My heart is heavy. So much pain for so many families. My granddaughters are afraid. The asked me what to do if there was a shooter, a fire, an accident, an earthquake. The children are afraid. It has come out that people carrying guns for protection at the mall were trying to shoot the running murderer at the mall. Guns firing wildly. Fear causing chaos. Flashing red lights. Lives changed forever.
I don’t write this piece as a downer. I write this piece to tell of the pain in the world. The pain of those children raised in homes of violence who become angry adults. Of those who are starving and have no help in sight. Of those suffering in the arms of war. Of those with illness and loneliness. I write this piece to ask for help. The kindness of a warm voice, a caring hand, a look into someone eyes can be a simple gift to another. Attending school programs for friends, neighbors, relatives tells that you care. A visit with a shut in is a gift in itself. Helping those who are depressed and/or angry to find their help sources. To send cards with a note. To reach out beyond your comfort zone to make a difference in someone’s life. Let us be part of peace on earth.
All babies are born in innocence just as that baby who was in a manger. We all have a chance, a choice to make a difference in what happens in life of the child as that child grows into adulthood. Red lights flashing.
“Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
Pam Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.