I had every intention of dedicating this week’s “Musing for Today” post to those precious lives that were lost in last week’s tragedy here in the United States, especially since the intensity of emotion and aching sense of loss of what could have been echoes within me still…even after several days have passed.
However, before I could properly deal with my emotions and mourn with the rest of the country at this tragic loss of so many lives, Life reared its erratic head again, effectively shoving my concern for those in Shady Hook to the back burner as I had to deal with a more immediate emergency of my own.
Perhaps it was because of the demands of the holiday season and the responsibilities I juggle around this time of year or the fact that my final grades for my college classes were due yesterday and today, but whatever the reason may be, I struggled to hold it together the past few days, especially when this unexpected and unwelcomed emergency occurred in my family. But then again, emergencies are always “unexpected” and “unwelcomed.”
What I kept telling myself was to take “one thing at a time.” Prioritize. Triage. Breathe. Organize. Regroup. Pray.
Miraculously, I was able to continue with my responsibilities and still continue to do so since I have much to do before the year is out, but what these two tragedies–the Shady Hook Tragedy and my own family’s crisis–remind me right now is that it is not the tragedies themselves that matter but how I respond to those tragedies that counts.
Regardless of the stresses of my life, will I continue to do the “human” thing? Will I continue to value people and do the “right” thing? Even if it costs me?
I realize that what I’m personally going through right now is actually “normal” in life; many of you may have already gone through it or are currently going through it. But the one thing I relearned this week is that even though Life may storm and thunder, throwing my usually ordered life into a truly chaotic disordered one, I cannot allow it to shake me. I mustn’t allow it to shake me.
And so, I continue to prioritize, triage, breathe, organize, regroup, and pray…and in the process, this struggle reminds me that the tragedies have not been minimized or ignored or allowed to become overwhelming. Rather, they have been used to redirect my focus once more on humanity…in all its glorious spectrum of beautiful and ugly, good and evil, kind and cruel.
As I approach Christmas, my thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering, grieving…and I am reminded ever so forcefully that when Life thunders and pounds, my task is to stay the course as a feeling, caring, and responsible human being. Failure to do so would be the greater tragedy.
I hope that you all are well and weathering whatever Life has thrown your way.