Wednesday, January 2, 2013


It's been well beyond a year since I've even touched the link to this blog, and that needs to change. I think this is a yearly thing for me: new year, back to the blog about simplicity and Jesus and what not. But let's be real here, the new year brings nothing but passing time. A fresh start is something that should never wait for a changing number.
So here I am, well into the process of my own personal fresh start, and by no means oblivious to the fact that  my level of consistency is currently at a pretty stagnant negative. That's beside the point though, because the deep-thinking portion of my brain is working again as I prepare to close the book on one of the Watanabe family's few and far-between family holiday vacations.
Today was our final day of holiday celebration. My youngest cousin is currently four and with each farewell gesture between myself and the little rascals I call my family, my heart lurched in attempt to remain as close as possible for as long as possible. It's a relatively regular occurrence during such times, but this time it was magnified. I was rendered numb and completely speechless, a feeling I've known only a few times before.
Finally, hours upon hours later, it hit me: Sandy Hook--the most sickening and devastating incident this year and possibly in my lifetime thus far. Even a month later, my mind is unable to put aside the revulsion it feels toward the entire situation. Every time I hear a word that even remotely relates to the tragedy, my heart shatters and leaves me senseless. I simply am unable to absorb a single word spoken on the incident and my mind will never be able to wrap itself around the kind of evil involved in that kind of devastation. It's not that I can't or won't sympathize with the families, it's that I don't possess the capacity to accurately express just how much my heart breaks with and for them. The faces, the stories, the tears--I've never been more overwhelmed in my 18 years of existence. And now I get it. As I embraced my younger cousins, it sunk in that I have no way of telling when I'll see them again. I have missed and will continue to miss numerous triumphs and tribulations--birthdays, graduations...milestones that can never be relived. Milestones that a group of Connecticut families no longer have a hope of celebrating. And as easy as it is for me to sit here in this recliner and spew out lines about how God has a plan and everything will turn out well, I refuse to think, speak, or even type those words regarding the death of innocent children and their caretakers. I can't do it and I won't.
I take so much for granted on a daily basis, and it took the pain of these families for me to realize that everyone that walks in and out of my life is a blessing whether I want to believe it or not. And no matter how often I say that I can't wait to see my loves again, I have no guarantee of that.

20 pairs of chubby hands will never again stretch out to embrace their mommies, to color a page, to chase a pet, to grasp a pencil, to obtain a diploma, to shake the hand of an employer, or to hold the hand of a spouse, now wrapped around the arms of the same God who reaches out His hand to give us breath and the ability to live the lives that those little angels never will.

If for nothing else, I encourage you to live each and every day in this new year with conviction and purpose for those whose potential will never come to be.

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