This has been a difficult month thus far.
I believe most people identify with that statement on an individual level most months. Things happen, life happens. Much of what sticks for us is the difficult, the painful. The good, the easy, the happy - these melt into the background. We expect as our due the good in life.
But life is not always good, or easy or happy. There is chaos and pain and turmoil at every turn. We are constantly challenged by life. Challenged to rise to the occasion, to overcome the obstacle, to accept the unacceptable. It is those times that we remember, that we memorialize. The Pearl Harbor Memorial has been a common December remembrance for decades.
We also remember John Lennon
at this time of the year.
Sadly, we now have another image that will permeate our collective memory for December, that of Newtown, CT.
There are no words, no wisdom or musings I can add that will change or ease what has happened. As a nation we are reeling once again at the actions of one person that have altered our lives in inexplicable ways. Hundreds of friends and relatives have had their understanding and appreciation of "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" altered forever.
Once more we are forced to ask some difficult questions of ourselves and those we look to as leaders. Many questions with no clear answers, much pain and anguish that has no ease.
There are countless families that will savor their times with friends and family at a more intense level this year. Children will continue to add to their memory bank another holiday season. The adults and older children will have perhaps a sharper appreciation of the intangibles that we strive for in life.
My birthday has always waged a battle with the holidays, as it is a mere 9 days before Christmas, 7 days before Yule. This year a pall I am not sure will ever lift was added, because in my mind December 14 will loom larger that December 16, 25 or 21.
We need something to change. Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Newtown ... How many places will be added to the list? I do not think there are any easy answers. There are most definitely a great many difficult questions.
Blessings to all who read these words.