By Jueseppi B.
By Sandy Phillips, mother of Jessica Redfield Ghawi & Moms Demand Action
It’s almost Christmas. The second one since Aurora and Newtown. We haven’t put up a tree, or lights, or stockings, or even a wreath. There are no presents. What we do have is emptiness. An empty house, an empty place at the table, an empty bed upstairs and empty hearts.
People tell us it gets better with time, but we are older and don’t have a lot of time. And we are thankful for that… just in case they are lying to us.
My son is not coming for Christmas. But he didn’t come often before. It was always Jessi who loved the holidays, whose eyes would light up with each gift.
I selected an ornament each year for my kids since they were born. She was always excited to open her ornament and place it on the tree. These included her baby shoes, ballet dancers, Barbie ornaments, handmade nursery school ornaments, and, yes, even a hockey player ornament. A lifetime of ornaments stored in a box to give to her when she started her own traditions as a young adult.
This year, Jessi’s best friend bought a tree, but had not one decoration to put on it. It seemed fitting to let her have Jessi’s collection to enjoy this year. What I didn’t expect was the emotional reaction I had when she sent me the picture of her decorated tree.
You see, it’s the little things that bring you to your knees. That box of decorations is my Pandora’s Box. Memories fly out and consume us; devour us. And we are reminded that our hearts are empty and broken.
I’m sharing this because I desperately want you to look around your living room, your kitchen, your holiday table and remember that 30,000 people every year lose a loved one to gun violence. Take one person out of your happy holiday scene and feel for just a moment what that permanent void would feel like. And then take action. Call your leaders and use your voice. No more Auroras. No more Newtowns.
No more SILENCE!
Moms Demand Action: No More Silence
Published on Dec 4, 2013
December 14, 2013, will mark the one-year anniversary of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is partnering with Mayors Against Illegal Guns to commemorate the anniversary with No More Silence, a campaign to honor the victims and show our resolve never to be silent again about gun violence. The campaign will culminate on December 14 with more than 50 events in 35 states. Each event will include a communal ringing of bells—a moment of No More Silence—to remember the victims and to show that the time for silence is over:
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