Spice Up Your Inbox. Subscribe Today.

enter your email address:


I have been struggling. With a deep grief and overwhelming feeling of helplessness.

My mother and I took my older girls (Dylan and Summer) to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular on Saturday morning. I couldn’t believe all the happiness going on around us. I wanted to yell at the tourists taking pictures in front of over sized Christmas decorations, “Don’t you know that 20 precious children died. Just because they went to school. How can you smile? How can any of us smile?!”

But instead, I watch the Rockettes, followed by the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center and then I tell my girls…

“We are going to light a candle at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.”

“Why do we have to do that? We’re Jewish,” they respond.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re Jewish or I’m Christian or what religion anyone is. There are people suffering in this world and we need to light a candle for them and send them our prayers.”

“What does suffering mean?” asks Dylan.

“It means they are feeling a great great sadness. And it’s our duty to help hold them up in any way we can.”

And as I light a candle, Dylan and Summer began arguing. Summer is upset she can’t light a candle on her own and Dylan is lighting more than one and that’s not fair and…

I feel annoyance rise up in me because can’t they sense the gravity of this even if they don’t know what happened in Newtown?! But then gratitude sweeps over me. Because what an honor to have squabbling siblings  in the middle of St. Patrick’s Cathedral when there are 20 families in Connecticut who wish they could once again hear that familiar banter between siblings.

There is little that has brought me solace over the last few days as I think about those lost souls. I want to bring those amazing children and loving adults back. I want to take away the pain from their family members.

Shari is right when she says, “If we could take away even a fragment of your pain, take it on ourselves, spread it out amongst us so that it wasn’t so overwhelming for you, I know so many of us that would.”

So we do what we can. We can give money to the funds set up in memory of these children.  We can demand gun control so this cycle of violent madness ends instead of continuing to escalate. We can show the world that our country is not owned by the gun lobby but rather, we are owned by our love for our children and we will do anything we can to protect them.

As the President said, we must “make our country worthy of their memory.”

So let’s begin.

42 Responses to these are our children

  • Patrick says:

    Amen. . . The NRA will, of course, push back hard. But this is a fight we need to win. Now. Canada has shown us the way on VERY strict gun control. We need to follow their lead.

  • Penny says:

    I can’t stand it, it breaks my heart. I haven’t watched any tv as I find it overwhelming enough just reading about it. Then I read the comment sections and find the same old arguments against gun control.
    What exactly does it take before we DO something?

  • Leigh Ann says:

    I can’t look at my girls’ sleeping bodies without envisioning a body of a different type — a body that doesn’t rise and fall with breath. It just doesn’t seem fair.

  • Chris says:

    We also need to start dealing with mental illness. So many parents out there with sick kids and nowhere to turn. Too many stories of parents trying to find help and no one is willing to help them. I know a family that has gone to court countless times, had their son arrested, and begged doctors to do something to no avail. They are told he is not sick enough, there is no place to put him, do more therapy, try this drug. Every night they go to sleep fearful that he will kill them and every day the pray that today is not the day that he snaps. Many families are dealing with this and they feel alone, scared and desperate for help. Why is it that these are all our children unless they are mentally ill. When they are mentally ill, that is the problem for the parents to deal with and solve. We as a society need to step up and support these families and children too because if we don’t we know what can happen.

  • Amy K says:

    You can’t fight stupidity or the knee jerk reaction of people who are basically clueless that want to infringe upon the rights guaranteed by the constitution. God help this country when they allow the president to continuously take away the rights of the citizens. No wonder more than 20 states have petitions for secession…..

    97% of the drive by shootings in this country are done by gang members who have prison records and have gotten their weapons on the street. I’d love to see you all go tell them – sorry guys! We passed a law saying you can’t have those weapons- give them up. And they’ll shoot you with them. All gun laws will do is what prohibition did – make a nice booming illegal market of supply and demand.

    • bitsy says:

      Amy, can’t we all please respect each other’s opinions and feelings and refrain from name-calling? We won’t all agree on what needs to happen, but nothing good will happen if we insist on calling those who disagree with us “stupid” and “clueless”. I don’t normally comment when people get political, but I just want to beg you, person to person, not to rethink your position, just how you express it. Please.

  • Amy K says:

    My kid actually just had the best comment on this. She said : Because marijuana is illegal and they keep enacting tougher drug enforcement laws and NOBODY smokes right?

    Like there is not an active black market in growing, buying, and selling pot? And everyone quit smoking or taking illegal drugs because we made them illegal? Nice try…

    • Amy,
      As I don’t think this is the right venue or the time, I’ll make this brief. What people are talking about are getting rid of ASSAULT weapons that can be bought at gun shows, and other places LEGALLY. There is no reason for an average citizen to own a glock or assault rifle. No reason. As disgusting as this sounds, the damage done in these classrooms wouldn’t have been nearly as ghastly if it were a hand gun doing the shooting.

  • Meaghan L says:

    I struggle to come up with words to describle how I feel about this horiffic event.
    I can’t imagine the pain of that town, those families.

    As I sit at work, stressed out about the small things, I came across this link, I dont know if it’s real or photoshopped, but it’s a good reminder that although there is pain in the world, there is also love. Let’s work to support those who lost, and remember what we have.


  • Karin says:

    Kelcey, It’s my birthday this morning, and I am so sad. Thank you for this gift of words: “Our country is not owned by the gun lobby but rather, we are owned by our love for our children and we will do anything we can to protect them.”

  • betsy says:

    Yes, we have to remember the children and adults who died. Yes, change needs to happin. But we also need to remember the ones who lived. The hundreds who witnessed this all first hand. The ones who will never be the same. Kelcey, you were frustrated that your girls were bickering. You should be happy. That means your children still have their innocence. They do not understand true suffering. Something too many children- and adults- lost that day.

  • Grace says:

    It is the ones who live on that suffer the most. Those first responders that will never sleep soundly again. Those broken apart families that now have to live without their child or sibling. Teachers who will never be the same again an now know have to think about the safety in a classroom first and foremost, not the 3 R’s. what the president said rings through my eyes “how can we not” I don’t know who to feel for more in all of this

  • Meg D says:

    Thank you. I was looking forward to what you would post on this as a part of my processing this whole thing. Your sharing has always been so helpful, this was what I needed.

  • Renee says:

    I feel exactly the same way – thank you for expressing it so beautifully.

    I live in Canada (though I lived in NYC for over 6 years as well for work). There are many things I admire about the US that I wish we had more of in Canada, but gun control is not one of them. I’m not sure why people think gun control is an issue. Controlling doesn’t mean outllawing…We control pharmaceuticals and drivers licenses and a whole host of other things. Of course, criminals will still get their hands on things they shouldn’t. But why not make it a little bit harder?!?! Adam Lanza and his mother weren’t criminals – she bought those guns legally. Why did she need them?

    This religious fervour over the 2nd amendment just makes no sense to me. Um, isn’t the fact that there are any amendments to the constitution proof that the document itself needs to change and evolve?!?! So maybe the 2nd amendment has to evolve as well. If we want to go back to the original constitution, maybe we should reinstate slavery and make sure women don’t vote…

      • Shea says:

        Exactly! Since Thomas Jefferson himself said, “Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of nineteen years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right,” I don’t know where people got the idea that it was written in stone. It was intended to be revised from the very beginning, that’s why we have amendments. And amen to Feinstein’s quote. I’d be interested in a system like Israel’s, where there is a limit to the number of guns and amount of ammunition you can buy. If you say you need a gun for defense (however flawed that idea may be…), you should not need more than one gun and a stockpile of ammunition, unless you have dozens of intruders every year (in which case, I suggest you move). And I just don’t get the idea of collecting guns as a hobby. Deadly weapons are not a hobby. I could say that nuclear weapons were a hobby, but no one’s about to sell me some uranium.

  • Nicole says:

    I’m thankful that you are having this conversation here, because it’s among the people that the conversation needs to be had at every level. It feels as though this time there will be change. I get the sense anyway, that mothers AND most of our nation will not go back to sleep this time. But let us all be diligent about following the news and policy activity to ensure the best decisions are made, and that details are not missed. For example, I heard on the news last night that policy recommendations currently being made do not consider any retroactive measures for arms already purchased.

    Another thing that this incident made so stark and clear, is how short-sighted we can be as a society. This mother was afraid of her own life in the hands of her son, but her weapons of harm were not secured safely enough to ensure that potential threat didn’t harm the entire community. Our actions have impacts way beyond our own houses. We need to think more proactively and bigger than what is simply in front of us.

  • Nicole says:

    Kelcey, I completely empathize with how you were feeling on Saturday. The contrast of Sandy Hook news showing-up in my Facebook feed, along with the conversations on my own FB page, with other’s completely off-topic or even joyous posts was hard to comprehend on Friday. It made me think about how Facebook activity is a new frontier, and as we would fly a flag at half mast, Facebook should reflect that similar observance when warranted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

kelcey kintner