To the editor:
It was my daughter’s birthday the other day. She and her sister are the love of our lives. Of course, there was a party at our house. The whole family was there, four generations. The house was overflowing with good wishes and cheer. Much needed in my case. The events of the last two months have given me much to be thankful for, much to ponder, much to reflect upon. The whole day came together with the big birthday cake, the chides about “how many candles there were,” then the wish, and the 3-year olds blew out the candles with the two smaller ones watching with great amazement—truly bookends of love for the children and grandchildren we adore.
All of this happened with the backdrop of a world in turmoil, a political environment driven by partisan rigidity and now a series of national tragedies: Hurricane Sandy, a mall shooting in Oregon, Newtown. These events have left broken lives in their wake. Our ability to explain falls way short considering the scope of the loss. In our Wikipedia/Siri-ized world of instant answers, we grow impatient when seemingly there are no answers.
We know bad things happen; we also know that with faith, there is hope for better times ahead. We can rely upon our Judeo-Christian heritage, the founding philosophy of our republic. This is a philosophy that honors fathers and mothers, respects differing viewpoints without rancor, promotes freedom, peace and self-reliance, sets societal goals well above the lowest common denominator and advances goodwill beyond our borders. From these principles come hope, strength, courage and love—in short, the ability to cope with terrible tragedy and find renewal in simple things … like a birthday party.
A few years back, at the ripe old age of 3, my younger daughter observed her parents in a frenzy about something. She tugged on our pants and said, “Just remember Mommy and Daddy, life is life.” We laughed. So little, so wise. Those words have stayed with me all these years. Life will get better. It will take time. We confirm our purpose and faith. So, this Christmas, make room in your prayers for all those who have experienced loss. Let your family know how much you love them. And rekindle hope in your heart.
Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas and a safe, prosperous new year.
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