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I felt compelled to go. To pay my respects.  To honor those children and educators. To do my small part to convey a country’s grief.

Newtown Sandy Hook sign

I brought an angel ornament to hang on one of the trees and I wrote a sign….

Newtown Sandy Hook Nation is Weeping sign

Rick at Newtown Sandy Hook

Newtown Sandy Hook Memorial signs

Newtown Sandy Hook angels

It was incredibly quiet when I was there.

In some ways, I felt frustrated. Frustrated that no matter how many flowers and teddy bears and notes we all leave in Newtown, it does nothing to bring those beautiful souls back to us.

But there is so much love and support surrounding that town, you can’t help but think we can harness that power and do something good with it.

Something big. And meaningful. And real.

Something that doesn’t include bringing more guns into our schools, like the NRA suggested on Friday.  Let’s not forget that Columbine had an armed security guard.  Republican Governor Chris Christie responded to the NRA’s idea by saying, “Armed guards would not be effective unless they were in every classroom. Because if you just have an armed guard at the front door then what if this guy had gone around to the side door? There’s many doors in and out of schools.”

How about less guns. Background checks without loop holes. More support for the mentally ill.  More love in this world.

I couldn’t stay long in Newtown. I had to rush back to pick up my 8-year-old at school. What a blessing that feels like now. Like wiping my kids’ toothpaste out of the sink. Picking their toys up from the floor. Cleaning pumpkin bread crumbs off their faces. It all feels like an incredibly gift because they are here on this earth with me.

Later in the day, I tried to finish up my Christmas shopping. I had finally succumbed to the idea of buying those Kidrobot yummy key chains for a ridiculous $5 each. On the upside, at least they aren’t Silly Bandz. I was trying to find a parking spot when I noticed someone pulling out. I could have easily pulled into the space but then decided to give the spot to someone else.

Just because.

Because if I want this to be a kinder, gentler world, then I should begin with myself in some tiny way.

Turns out, I never did find another spot. I circled and circled and finally had to get home. My girls will be just fine without those key chains on Christmas morning.

We have everything we need.

16 Responses to i had to go

  • Penny says:

    Thank you Kelcey, for going. And thank you more for speaking out about the NRA’s suggestion, as that is exactly how I feel.

    And the support for the mentally ill? We also need to support their families who feel so isolated as they try to get help for their child.

    There are no easy answers, but less guns, more stringent background checks, and a waiting period would be a start.

  • Em says:

    I’m so glad you were able to go. I’m on the other side of the US, but think of them every day. I like to think that you were able to represent so many of us that wish we could pay our respects in person, but aren’t able to. Thank You.

  • Sara says:

    I went to newtown on Wednesday for the same reason. It was not quiet, I did not feel pensive. As I sat there and watched three funeral processions for children who could easily have been mine, I felt a gut wrenching sadness combined with a visceral anger I’ve never felt before. The anger and sadness has stayed with me, like an unwelcome friend. And as much as I want it to go away, I think it’s there for a reason. I agree, we need to change things. The NRAs response was unthinkable. Aren’t we, the mothers of these children, supposed to stop this? Who else could ever feel this to the core as we do, as I look at my 6yo everyday now in a different way. That feeling should empower us to create change. These kids deserve that. I want to make their 6 years on earth worth something big. We feel powerless, but we r just the opposite. We r moms, and we stronger than we think. I too will start with personal change, but we need to think bigger. Gun control, mental Heath, video game violence that leads disturbed kids to confuse fantasy and reality. We have a lot of work to do. And as sandy hook grieves, we should b working for them. Because we’re moms and we can.

  • Steph says:

    When I read the title to your blog post I guessed where you had gone. I have no words. Just unspeakable grief and horror. God bless you and everyone trying to make a difference.

  • Amazing post. I am horrified with the NRA’s response. You are right when it comes to no loop holes and more support and understanding of mental illness.

    I liked what Marinka said when she said she would follow when you lead. Count me in, too. Something has got to be done.

  • Ann says:

    I think the spirit inside you that compelled you to go is the same spirit that made you a great reporter–the need to honor and acknowledge the world around you. Thank you for going and for sharing your perspective with us–you do such good with this blog.


  • Loukia says:

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve broken down crying. This tragedy elevated mt already ridiculous worry and panic to another level, to the point that I’m now going to see someone to help desk with the anxiety. And I live in Canada, land of safe gun laws. I want so hard to believe in good. But this shattered me. And yes, to all you said, about how every little thing we do for our kids is an absolute blessing. Sigh. Love to you…

  • Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your experience!! I tear up every time I read or see more about this terrible tragedy. I’m on the Board of my son’s daycare and had all of the teachers get their students to make snowflakes to send to the PTA to decorate the new school with for all of the children that did survive (the kids of course were not informed what the snowflakes were for). And last week when my son was begging me to go outside and play in the snow with him, I gave in (I hate the cold and snow) and went happily because there are 20 families that will never get to play in the snow with their little angels!

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kelcey kintner