The happy house with the plastic Santa fetish is a few blocks from my house. It stands out in a one mile radius for number and variety of lights that some will attribute to joy, others to humor, and still others to tackiness. When I saw it I thought a few examples of holiday decorations would be entertaining and fun to write about. I wanted pleasure by noticing others’ efforts when mine are limited this year since we are in the midst of organizing a move.
Then the events of Newtown CT at Sandy Hook Elementary hit the news with twenty-six victims of a shooter who then took his own life. I’m not typing the details. If you don’t know about it, you don’t want to. But here in the U.S. this scenario is happening too often. The only other article on the front page of today’s Salt Lake Tribune is titled: Parents Hope Son’s Death Buries Bullying. Last week a fourteen-year-old took his own life here in Salt Lake in front of schoolmates, allegedly after being teased many times.
But my sheltered life continues. See the skinny Santa in the
refrigerator? Sam’s sister gave that gumby toy on a Christmas gift over thirty years ago when our son was a child. Skinny Santa became a holiday game of hiding him from one another in surprising places. Whoever found Santa under their pillow or nestled in socks then hid him for another to find. I placed Santa in the fridge for Sam to find Friday.
I didn’t listen to the news Friday that was pouring out of Connecticut. Or watch it. Instead I thought about the mass killing in Oregon the week before, the dead in Syria, those who died in Iraq, spouses gunned down by those they promised to love, my lost and lonely brother who took his life over thirty years ago.
Last night I went to a party. It was held by good friends in their
more than beautiful home that could be a spread in Architectural Digest. Beautiful people were engaging in pleasant conversation in good cheer. The food and drink was ample and generously served.
This morning I listened to George Stephanopoulos and then Bill Moyer talk shows about Connecticut. I hope this country has reached a “tipping point” a few guests talked about. I want us to change our country’s view of an adolescent macho attachment to assault weapons, mental health attitudes, and fascination with slaughter movies.
Then I went to the backyard and took this picture of my private corner of peace, my backyard that is so beautiful draped in Friday’s snow, the same morning children and teachers were dying in Connecticut. My life has had tragedy, though now it is peaceful and happy. But I am aching at this moment for the changed lives and broken hearts I know will never truly heal in Connecticut.