Jul 212012
 

Here I am, and I’m so excited to be here. It feels like forever since we’ve talked. When I opened the page this morning, I got the same feeling I get when I walk into a coffee shop to meet a friend I haven’t seen for too long.

Where shall we start? How about here:

 

Please meet my nephew, Robert Doyle Lynch. He is named for his gentle, forever smiling, baseball and family loving grandfather, Bob Lynch, who died two weeks ago and is now Bobby’s Official Guardian Angel. He gives and takes away, sometimes at the very same time. It has been a brutiful month.

Monkees- how do I describe watching my Sister turn into a mama and my brother turn into a daddy? The answer is I can’t, yet. I’m storing it all up inside and letting it do what it does. I imagine it will all crystallize into a million stories soon.

I can tell you now that Sister is different. She is a different Sister than she was forty eight hours ago. And right now, our relationship is different. We can’t talk much. We pass Bobby back and forth and we stare at him and utter short, shallow sentences to each other which is the opposite of how we have communicated for thirty three years. For the first twenty four hours after Bobby was born, we couldn’t even make eye contact. It was like when Moses asked God if  he could see His face and God said no- because God’s face is so bright and so full of STRAIGHT LOVE that a mere human being wouldn’t survive a full on stare. So God tells Moses He can only allow him to see where He’s just been. It’s like that right now. Bobby is where God’s just been. It’s fresh, sacred ground, and I’ve still got my shoes off.

One evening there was no Bobby and the next morning there was Bobby. And I can’t stop thinking about him so comfortable in the dark, cramped space of Sister’s womb, knowing that small spot was the whole wide world. And then –  discomfort, pain, chaos, and bright, blinding light –  then the strong arms of a Mother and a Father that Bobby could SEE and a whole new previously unimaginable world that is all Bobby’s. Full of love and light.

Let’s just say Bobby’s arrival has pushed back, a teeny bit further, my skepticism about heaven.

 

 

But we know that Bobby is not all we have to discuss today.

The shootings are in our hearts and heads. We’ve imagined ourselves in that theatre again and again. Yesterday evening at Tish’s VBS concert, I found myself imagining how I’d react, how I’d get to all three kids if someone started shooting in the sanctuary. I couldn’t help but notice the irony of listening to the children smiling and singing about how God is in control and about how He will always protect us. I wondered if the other adults were thinking what I was thinking which was . . . weeeellllllllll???

Lots of you have emailed to ask how I’m handling this with Chase and the girls and the truth is I haven’t had to handle it. We’ve kept the news off. Chase says “the news is for people who are nosy.” I mean, it’s kind of true. I know enough. I don’t want to know the shooter’s name and I don’t want to hear from his third grade teacher and his long lost aunt and all the organizations who will pounce on this tragedy to further their political agendas –  warranted or not. The older I get, the more convinced I am that our problems will not be solved by politicians or PACS  or the media or the Big Bosses. They will only be solved in our own hearts and families. Bottom to top. And so I don’t want to bear witness to the media circus. This is no time for a circus. It’s time for the opposite. It’s time for a reverent hush to fall over our country. It’s time for self-reflection and prayer and extra-ordinary kindness.

I guess this is how I reacted: Yesterday, I was in a rush and I had to stop for gas, which I HATE for some reason. Again, I can do hard things, but not easy things, like gas getting. I spent five minutes at the pump punching buttons and finally realized it didn’t work. I went into the gas station and asked what on the heck was going on. The attendant said, “Oh, that pump doesn’t work. Use a different one.” And I got pissed. Because this woman had wasted five minutes of my precious time. So I rolled my eyes and said something like: well why don’t you have a sign on the pump?? And I said it in a very sweet, patronizing, rude way. And then I drove away.

Halfway to our destination I turned the car around, and I went back to the station. I walked in and waited in line, and when I got to the front I looked the same lady in the eye and I said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being such a jerk and making your day harder.”

I didn’t add anything else. Because an apology with an explanation attached is not an apology at all. Then I left.

That was my response to the Colorado shootings. I have no explanation. There is no way to make sense of it. So first, I want to do no harm.

I want to be kind to the people who cross my path, because just like that shooter changed the world- so can I.

 

When the world feels loud, we must be quiet. When the world feels violent, we must be peaceful. When the world seems evil, we must be good.

 

Love,

G and Bobby



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  108 Responses to “Here I Am and There You Are!”

  1. I think you are amazing, and I think you are my sister. My heart sister. I read and I read your posts. I rarely comment because, honestly, what more can be said? I just narrow my eyes and nod in what I believe to be a sage agreeing way and hug you with my heart. I wish you lived next door to me and we could drink coffee and pull our hair out together. Thank you for your openness and soul baring honesty. Love you G.
    xoxo, Kyleigh

  2. “I didn’t add anything else. Because an apology with an explanation attached is not an apology at all. Then I left.”

    I am so guilty of apologizing from my heart but allowing my mouth to offer details which are ultimately, irrelevant. Thank you for this…

  3. I love you and you are amazing…that’s all!

  4. […] – momastery  Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  5. You make me want to be a better person, and I thought I was doing pretty good with the Jesus teachings in my life. However, I’ve been getting too legalistic…thank you for shedding a new light of love in these last two posts. Congrats on your nephew!

  6. “When the world feels loud, we must be quiet. When the world feels violent, we must be peaceful. When the world seems evil, we must be good.”

    With your permission, Glennon, I’d like to create one of those ‘wall words’ from this quote and place it where my family of four and I can read it several times a day.

  7. I wonder if those apologies should be extended to people who truly deserve it also. Like the people who try their hardest to make your life a little bit easier to live and tries to give unconditional love and support to the people who matter the most in your life. To the people who have to endure the constant ridicule and snide remarks from people who just “don’t give a shit about whats going on in their lives.” Sometimes it’s hard to own up to your mistakes and just apologize..but I believe it’s what God would want..

  8. Thank you, as always, for your wisdom and candor.

    And thank you for putting so beautifully into words so much of what I felt when my own lovely baby sister had her baby in May. Her first baby (I don’t have any yet). I’m so proud of her I can’t even speak it sometimes. And at the same time, just a tiny bit selfishly, I miss those deep conversations of the last 30 years. They are coming back, though, just on a different schedule. And with the lens of standing on holy ground.

  9. dear g. there is nothing on this earth more precious than a baby. such a reminder of God and His greatness. i am missing you however.

  10. A beautiful post as always. God works in such amazing and mysterious ways…I have always viewed the birth of children as a beautiful, light filled ( okay havin a hard time explaining this) experience. After being present for the birth of 4 nieces/nephew and 2 of my own children, I can say that the experience has always left me speechless. A true miracle.

    I am hoping God can be with the Colorado victims, and their families, and that they can have faith during this impossibly difficult time.

  11. We live in Colorado. My grandma visited our house today (she is 78) and just lamented and worried over how horrible the shooting was, couldn’t stop saying how insane the world was getting…etc. She blames the movie makers mostly, and the gun sellers. Ironically, I thought, the conversation moved into what it was like for her as a child in Germany after WWII. Stories of her father running home with the neighbor boy who’s head was blown open, condemning messages of their family written on the street in front of their house, bomb raids, her sister finding and then throwing an undentonated bomb out of their attic window… Scary stuff, that my kids will not have to witness thank God. Makes me sigh, all of it.

  12. He’s a beautiful baby. :-)

  13. Glennon. You are so great.

  14. […] And sometimes (not unlike the people we fall in love with) these lovely perfect words come from the least expected of places; when we’re not looking for them at all.  I’m not a mother.  I would never have sought out a blog about being one, but today I followed a link from a friend’s Facebook page right into this beautiful bunch of words, which were exactly what I needed.* […]

  15. As always, I love your posts so much. I thought I’d share my own thoughts on this tragedy and a prayer every mother says in her own way.
    http://lovethislittlefamily.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-dark-night.html

  16. First – what a gorgeous baby! Second – you rock, Glennon. I hope what you did made a difference to the lady at the gas station. Keep on doing it, sister.

    My son, two years old, frequently reminds his sister (when she is bossing him and grabbing his toys and otherwise making his life difficult) “BE NICE, NOMI !!!” I guess we can all use the same exhortation: just be nice, already.

  17. Tell Sister Congratulations! and that Bobby is absolutely perfect…she knows anyway but it is always nice to hear from someone else. He is very lucky to have you and your family in his life! I just want to kiss him…

  18. G, this post sums up all the reasons I love you and your blog. Thanks.

  19. Such an amazing post and an amazing outlook you have shared. The best thing we can all do right now is hold each other a little tighter.

  20. “He gives and takes away, sometimes at the very same time.”

    So true. I lost my mom three weeks after the birth of my second daughter. Brutiful indeed! I find great comfort in the fact that my mom spent so much of her last three weeks on Earth in the company of my new daughter so fresh from God. She was truly prepared.

    • That is such a beautiful little comment. Totally loaded with the most complex conceptualization in a crazy simple way. Don’t know how, but the tears crept in. There is really nothing like seeing not just mamma with new baby, but especially grandma with new baby. I saw a softness (and weakness) in my very tough mother that I had never seen before when she embraced my babies for the first time. It broke down many walls to witness.

  21. I don’t consider myself particularly religious but I love how your posts open me up to think about God. The idea of a new baby being where God’s just been is beautiful and it seems that if there’s anywhere for God to be, it would be within a brand new life.
    And what a gorgeous baby little Bobby is! He has a glow about him. It looks like love.

  22. First of all, congratulations on being an auntie:)

    The Colorado shootings: I very much appreciated hearing your perspective on this. Many Colorado State Troopers from across the state had to work overtime yesterday afternoon because the president came to Aurora to visit the shooting victims in the hospital. I couldn’t help but think of what a waste of resources this trip was. I felt a little guilty for thinking it. Maybe I’m wrong. It just seems that it was for political reasons and that time and money would have been better spent elsewhere. Politicians can’t fix this.

    • Okay, so I wrote that and then realized I was being selfish.

      I do agree that we can make a positive difference everyday.

    • You’re being reasonable, not selfish. My husband is a Colorado State Trooper. During ‘Occupy Denver’ the troopers were called to monitor the capital grounds 24/7 for MONTHS!! Talk about a waste of resources. I hope that the President’s visit brought some comfort to some families…I’m sure it did. Let’s be thankful these incidents are few enough for the attention of the President.

  23. I love your quote. I have been switching the channel and the radio station so my Superhero, Batman-loving, sweet innocent 4 and 6 year old boys don’t hear this awful news.

    I can’t fathom the sense of loss, deep sadness and anger the victims’ families feel for this senseless act. I got so angry every time they put the mans face up. Stop showing him. Stop giving him his glory.

    I feel like you do and I didn’t know it until you summed it up perfectly.

    Congratulations to you and your family on the beautiful baby boy. These are the events that keep us all from going insane.

  24. […] what matters – who I am and where I’ve come from and Who has saved me. Once again Glennon Melton hits home with this: I want to be kind to the people who cross my path, because just like that […]

  25. […] “When the world feels loud, we must be quiet. When the world feels violent, we must be peaceful. When the world seems evil, we must be good.” – Glennon Melton, parenting blogger at momastery.com […]

  26. Ok. I don’t even know how you always make me cry. But I’m a sobby, snotty mess over the fact that you went back to that gas startion and said that to the attendent. You are such a strong person. I practice doing things like that, I practice reaching out to people. And it’s just so damn hard. I’m terrified of being embarrassed or making someone feel awkward or looking stupid or messing it up. But the fact that you can do it – and really go out there and do it – gives me strength. I will keep trying. And I will act on the small things that I’ve only been thinking about doing.

    There is a quote from this book called “Zen and the Bible” that says when you love one person deeply, you love the whole world. Well, you recognizing the struggle of this one person at the gas station makes me feel recognized too.

    That is the power of doing small things. Thank you for showing me how to do it.

  27. Those last sentences-you posted them on your FB page, and I stole them and copied them to mine immediately. Then, I copied them to Google and searched, since you didn’t say where you’d found such a wondrous, profound quotation. I was guessing it was the Dalai Lama. But I found no source-because you are the source, and I’m in awe.

    One of the biggest pet peeves I had with my former wife-probably THE biggest-was when she’d say to me, “I’m sorry, but…” -with an explanation of her reasons for whatever was her half of the fight in question following the, “but…”. I never got through to her that that “but” told me she wasn’t sorry about anything at all.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed imagining all you ladies, closing your eyes and sniffing, as you long for that baby-head scent. I predict pregnancies in he coming weeks, here… ;-)

  28. Oh, congratulations to you, Glennon – and to SIster and her new, precious little family.
    I think you are right about the shootings. We need to be quiet and honor the lost ones. And we need to start trying to heal our country on all fronts from the bottom up, The big wigs can not and will not do it. It’s up to us. And it starts in our homes and in our kids’ classrooms, and with the lady at the gas station. It’s all of us and how we handle every day. Thank you for saying it so perfectly.

  29. I love you.

  30. Thanks you so much for sharing your new joy with us. So beautiful! So full of hope and promise. It helped me go through my day with my head a little higher and a smile on my face.

  31. I bet there’s a sign on that pump now.

  32. Thank you for your beautiful writing, and congratulations to your entire family! Bobby is beautiful, and so is your sister.

    This is the first tragedy we had to discuss with our children, and we used this Mr. Rogers quote to frame our discussion with a small dose of hope for our world.

    When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in the world. – Fred Rogers

  33. Blessings & Love!

  34. Blessings to your sister, brother and their sweet boy. Last year my mom died on my baby girl’s due date. Brutiful, indeed. I know that Bobby will bring an immeasurable amount of joy and peace to your family’s hurting hearts.

  35. Beautiful new Sister-mama, beautiful new baby, beautiful you…and beautifully written. Thanks again for your words of wisdom.

  36. What a gorgeous boy! And so fortunate to be born into such a loving family.

    Love Sister’s nursing bra, too. :)

  37. Congrats on your nephew, I got a new one a few weeks ago and the birth of a mother is as sacred as the birth of a child – watching my sister become a mother was breathtaking.

    My heart belongs to two countries, New Zealand and Norway, so last year my heart was broken twice, 185 people died in the Christchurch earthquake and one year ago today 77 people were killed in Norway.

    I cried and cried and then I shuttered myself away from the circus and the pain, turned off the radio, the internet, the TV. But the sun was shining and the birds were singing and I put on a smile for my little boys and played while my heart ached and marveled that their lives experienced not a bump. But then I felt so guilty because I could hide from it and I had friends who lost their friends and families and homes and businesses and Norway, a whole country, lost its innocence. I had friends too scared to leave their homes with their children because the earth just wouldn’t stop shaking them (it is still shaking). So, I delved back into the circus and rationed small stories, enough to know what was going on, enough to know victims names and stories, enough to pray and grieve with the whole country(s). Enough to feel connected to people but not so much to lose myself in it, not so much to become a rubble-necker or tragedy tourist.

    Also, the grief when mother nature strikes you down and the grief when one of your own does is so different.

    America, I am so sorry you are hurting again.

  38. “It was like when Moses asked God if he could see His face and God said no- because God’s face is so bright and so full of STRAIGHT LOVE that a mere human being wouldn’t survive a full on stare. So God tells Moses He can only allow him to see where He’s just been. It’s like that right now. Bobby is where God’s just been. It’s fresh, sacred ground, and I’ve still got my shoes off.”

    This, I honestly haven’t been moved by something like this before. I am not too religious, well, I’m trying to figure that out, but what you’ve wrote here moved me to tears without me even really trying. I have never even thought of birth like that. I don’t have kids yet, but the idea of giving birth being a sacred ground where God JUST was is something that I find SO beautiful and peaceful. I don’t know that I’ve commented, but Glennon, I can’t thank you enough for these beautiful perspectives and words of wisdom you write. You are amazing.

  39. I think perhaps in the quiet introspection we each also have to challenge ourselves in what we accept as a society and consume in our media. ESP in family situations where children are involved. It’s a call to live out peace like you said and sometimes peace takes balanced activism… Not fanatical calls to boycott everything but questions and stances to consider about our cultural mentalities. I wrote a post about it but it’s probably something most don’t want to hear in the sense that we then need to may e change a bit… Anyway my heart goes to the families involved. I lOved the fuel station story.
    Congrats on your niece!

  40. Beautifully put about Bobby and Heaven and Moses. The MIRACLE of birth doesn’t have any words, but you really brought my emotions to a place where I understood it while I was reading. The miracle of a birth, and the tragedy of death,… a paradox we will never understand while we remain on earth. Thanks for bringing me to a place where I can process it.

    Ashley

  41. Cabby….sorry to hear about your mother…I hope and pray she will recover quickly.

  42. On September 11, 2001, I was evacuated from Ground Zero, where I was on a business trip (from San Francisco). At that time, our daughter was 10. We had (and still have) no TV. When I was able to get cell reception, after a 6-mile walk to midtown Manhattan, I got hold of a Bay Area friend and gave him short messages to give, and phone numbers to call. One part of that message was “do not let Katy see a TV, newspaper, magazine. Nothing.”

    I have never been more thankful that we have no TV, nor do the families of her best friends. My husband was working nights, so Katy immediately went to stay with our greatest friends. During the 5 days until I could get home, she never saw a photo. No TV. Nothing. Everyone understood that those images and the TV dissection of them, over and over, were the LAST thing a child needed to see.

    I now react the same way you do to all of these tragedies, which immediately turn into media circuses. I’m not interested in seeing them dissected. It was a tragedy, and we need to leave those who suffered the tragedy — who were actually THERE, or knew well someone who was — grieve. It isn’t our grief. Not really. We can grieve in general, but not in particular.

    On the fifth anniversary of 9/11, my Dad sent me a right-wing email crap-pile about how much that affected the nation. I sent back a diatribe about how *little* it affected the nation, compared to those who were there — those killed and the survivors. That I much doubted that the rest of the nation woke up screaming from nightmares, as I and my co-workers did for years. You cannot walk those 6+ miles in someone else’s shoes. You can’t really even imagine. And those actual shoes hurt so much when I put them on a few years later (pressed on the recollected blisters) that I had to give them away.

    I feel the same now, with this tragedy. So I delete all emails about “how much this has affected us” from my email box, and refuse to watch the news. And I’m happy to know that there are other sane people, like you, who are doing the same.

    Katy is 21. She still hasn’t seen those images. And now she says she really doesn’t want to. Nor is she a voyeur to this tragedy. I guess we’ve raised her well.

    Love,
    Betsy

    P.S. – He is a beautiful baby! So happy you’re all happy. And so praying that this happy overtakes the grief of losing John’s father so soon before Bobby’s birth.

  43. I love you and I’ve missed you. I just texted my friend, a fellow monkee, that I might just have to make myself a shirt that says, “I love Glennon”. I might just.

    Congratulations on baby! Hooray! So lovely and wonderful. So good.

    Finally, thank you for writing about Colorado. I have been having a back and forth with my father all day about how we haven’t seen a lot of FB posts about it (and what we think about that) and about the fact that I was surprised that not one of the other blogs I follow said anything about it. Not judgmentally surprised, I don’t think (?), just surprised. And then here you are. Thank you.

    I agree whole-heartedly with your comments about peacefulness in the face of violence and being good in the face of evil. I love what you did about the gas station experience. I want to do no harm and start with my own heart and family. And I also don’t want to hear the media circus.

    I question (and don’t have an answer I’m sure of) a little bit the, “When the world feels loud, we must be quiet” and “time for a reverent hush”.

    I think what I wish would happen (let’s LIST the things I WISH would happen…) would be the reverent hush, followed by a million plus voices demanding and a million plus people making change. Those voices might have to be a little noisy…

    Like I said, I’m not sure.

    Thank you for your lovely post and your lovely self and the picture of the LOVELY baby.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  44. First and foremost, congrats on that beautiful nephew!!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the shooting. It’s funny how we all have our way of processing it all. I come from a educational background of sociology and criminology. I think I am doing the opposite of you and wanting to know everything about this perpetrator – not to increase his fame and glory, but to figure out what would drive someone to do this. How could a mind like his go so terribly dark, and how could we help someone with a mind such as his to retreat or deprogram? I agree that his name should be mentioned as very little as possible. And the main focus HAS to be on the victims and the loved one.

    I saw the “movie” last night. I had horrible mixed emotions about that decision. My husband and I never get a date night having four special needs kids. We had it all planned out, and I was damned if I was going to let this person scare me out of having our night. But let me tell you, the whole first half hour, I was in tears and in constant prayer, knowing that these were the final images and sights that those victims saw. I still don’t know if it was respectful to have even had the movie showing at all yesterday. I’m not sure I did the right thing, but I do know it made me think a lot about those precious souls. How do we know what is the right thing to do? We just do the best we can. (And truck our asses back to gas stations to make amends :) xoxo

  45. Do you think it’s wrong to want to know the Colorado shooter’s name? Do you think it’s wrong to want to know about his life and his family?

    I’m a journalist, not in Colorado, but I live a few hours from Aurora, and I can’t help but want to know because that man, whoever he was, along with the people he killed, was human too, right? Is it wrong to want to mourn the loss of his life, too, (because he’s going to lose it, one way or another) and the pain his family must also be going through as a result of his atrocious actions?

    It’s fashionable to want to label the Columbine killers, the Virginia Tech shooter, and the man who shot up a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, as evil incarnate, to separate us from them. It’s fashionable to blame the parents, to blame society, to blame the movies and violent video games. And I think we do it because the alternative — that we just don’t know — is terrifying.

    I never knew any of the victims of any school shooting or 9/11 or anything, so my opinion probably doesn’t matter, but I can’t hate the people responsible for those events. I can’t wish that they killed themselves years ago to spare us all today. I can’t wish that someone had “taken care of them” before these things happened. And I have no idea if that’s wrong.

    • I feel for the shooter’s parents. And so no, I don’t want to know who they are because it must be hard enough being them, right now. There will never be anymore anonymity for them.

      I live in Orlando, FL, and I often wondered what I would do if I ran into George and/ or Cindy Anthony at the mall/grocery store/bank. Would I be able to keep any judgement off my face? Would I be one of those curiosity seekers and whisper behind my hand? Would I be able to not stare at them?

      You are right, there is a lot of rush to judgement. But I hope not on behalf of the parents. It’s hard enough to raise kids these days.

    • You are not wrong to grieve a loss of a life – even if that life belonged to someone who didn’t share your value of life. I do think that the more we direct our attention to the killers – the less attention we give to the victims. I am sure there is a balance somewhere that I am missing!

    • I have to comment on this. I have been hearing a few comments on FB and such that seem to be saying that we all have the capacity to snap so we should just throw up our hands and look around bewildered as to the cause. It is not “fashionable” to examine the reasons people do horrible things. I wish more people would take their heads out of the sand and help fight the root causes of evil. Mourning the life of a violent killer is unproductive in my opinion.

  46. Love this.

    I have a 4 month old son, and when my husband and I were talking about the shooting all I could do was cuddle him and think – how does a sweet, innocent little bundle of love turn into a person who commits such horrible acts? That shooter was once a sweet little babe too.

    • That is all I could think about, too. My sweet little babies are so innocent and perfect, and that is where we all start. What did his parents do or not do, and am I going to do or not do those things with my two little boys? I love them and treat them with respect and kindness, and sometimes I am short and cranky, but mostly I am patient and cheerful. Will it matter? I hope so. I guess I will just do what I know I can and then let God take the rest.

      • I use to wonder about what the parents did/didn’t do as well. Living by Oakland, CA, our nightly news is filled with stories of murder and crime. Where are the parents? Why aren’t they parenting? But I think in this case-as in many-this man was mentally ill and made a very poor choice. His mother may have read to him every night, kissed and hugged him every day, raised him in the church, etc. But you can’t make choices for your children-you can only hope they make good ones. And if he IS mentally ill, then all bets are off the table.

        • Well said Kat. As a parent, you make yourself sick thinking constantly if you’re doing the right thing. But in the end, they are the ones who make the choices. And a mind that is ill (and one that does these sorts of acts, has to be ill, right?) sometimes makes horrible irreversible choices and it matters not how much or little his parents loved him. I mean, there are plenty of children in the world whose parents do not love them, and they do not grow up to make these kinds of choices ( and of course, I’m not saying all minds that are ill make horrible choices).

  47. Congratulations to Sister and Husband! Beautiful Bobby. Life is so precious. Congratulations to you too Aunt Glennon. What do your children think of their cousin? Are they just as amazed? I love watching children with babies.

    I am so with you on the shooter. I’ve turned it off on the television. Any news I have been reading has been about the victims. I’ve ben trying to read and celebrate their lives. I agree with you…don’t want to know about that other person.

    Want to hear something else disturbing? My 9 year old has asked me often to turn off the news because it scares him. This, from a boy who is the youngest of 4 brothers, and has already seen all the Harry Potters/Transformers/Spider Man/Pirates of the Caribbean etc movies. The news is more frightening to him.

    Your words are beautiful, Glennon. As usual. What a gift you have and are.

  48. In the midst of tragedy and the ugliest of human acts, you are a shining light of love, calm, and reason. Thank you and may your influence spread and continue to be the balm needed by so many.

    Little Bobby is a precious angel … thank you and Sister for sharing him.

  49. I love you more each time I read one of your beautiful pieces. You help to center me and bring me perspective. I am so proud that you were brave enough to turn around and apologize. I hope I can remember this the next time I am in a similar situation and choose not to make a rude comment.

    You are a gift to me and so many others. I am glad that with all of your struggles you were rewarded with the gift of Bobby.

  50. Beautiful. Just beautiful. Thank you.

  51. As far as sharing with the kids, I like the person (whoever it was) who said, “Look for the helpers.” I would point out to the kids (once they ask) all the people rushing to help the wounded. As far as explaining the shooter’s behavior, well – you can’t. You can’t explain the irrational.

    But it is smart to keep the TV off. Too much sensationalism – we may not be able to protect our kids from all the news, but we can certainly filter how they see it

    • Oh, and congratulations on your new nephew! I love having a newborn in the house – it’s like having angels visiting.

    • We are visiting grandparents who insist on watching the news, and I was washing the dishes and didn’t notice what was on the news, my 6 yr old heard about the shootings. I will remember to focus on the helpers, and help him understand that there is goodness all around no matter what. Thank you for reminding me:)

  52. I feel compelled to leave this link after reading your words. The juxtaposition of something so beautiful next to something else so horrible can teach us much about ourselves, life, and God.
    http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/04/to-hold-sacred?lang=eng

  53. Perfection.

  54. […] wrote this to end her post on Momastery: “When the world feels loud, we must be quiet. When the world feels violent, we must be […]

  55. What beautiful, true, pure thoughts. I think that your heart is becoming pure, Glennon, through all you are experiencing, thinking about, and writing….I am thinking that these are the ways to become pure in heart;
    to see God.

  56. “When the world feels loud, we must be quiet. When the world feels violent, we must be peaceful. When the world seems evil, we must be good.”

    Thank you for this!

    And, congratulations on your beautiful nephew!

    We keep the news off in our home too.

  57. Apology without explanation. Brilliant. Beautiful. The one lesson we must teach our own children. Be accountable for your actions and don’t hurt others in the process.
    p.s. – Hi Bobby!

  58. I just want to say when I saw the picture of your beautiful sis and her God given child I just teared knowing how magical it ALL is! Witnessing my niece’s birth was one of the BEST experiences I ever had–all of the JOY and none of the pain! There was not a child and now there is! MIRACLE! EVERY TIME!

    No news here…it seems what I need to know gets to me. My children and their lives are quite consuming enough. Not to sound egocentric, but family centric I try to be. Our friend, Anne Lamont (not really, but feels like one) had a nice FB post about it too with some worthwhile links. PEACE to all and may we keep spreading it on our lives, homes and the world.

    Thank you for doing your part and then some!

  59. I love, love, love, what you wrote about your new nephew. I just had a baby a couple weeks ago and you put into words what I haven’t been able to. Thank you.

  60. This piece, as are all of yours, was beautifully written. I had a question: does Chase never watch the news or just in this instance? I agree; the onslaught of ridiculous tidbits about this young man is too much, but news in general? I will have to admit I am a “nosy” person then…..Take care & best wishes for your nephew.

  61. Congrats to the Doyle family! So excited for all of you – Glennon, you do such an amazing job putting my feelings into words! So thankful to be part of your community!!

  62. “When the world feels loud, we must be quiet. When the world feels violent, we must be peaceful. When the world seems evil, we must be good.”

    Awesome post…Awesome you. I had to smile, because I would have done something like go back and apologize to the woman. I’d love to see this quote on a pretty background. I asked my teenage daughter how to do this, and I had to laugh. She uses “Picmonkey”. : )

  63. When I read your comment about sitting in VBS and thinking about if there was a shooting in the sanctuary, I was immediately taken back to my hometown, Fort Worth, Texas. In Sept, 1999, 5 months after Columbine, that is exactly what happened. A mad man came into the sanctuary of Wedgwood Baptist Church during a youth rally and threw a pipe bomb (which didn’t injure anyone, miraculously), but he shot and killed 7 people and wounded 7 more. Why? He was a mad man, and sometimes, that is all the explanation there is to be found.

    My husband and I feel the same way about the news. We watched the evening news, as we always do, then we stopped. It feels too intrusive to see more. “It’s time for a reverent hush to fall over our country. It’s time for self-reflection and prayer and extra-ordinary kindness.” These words….yes. But, isn’t it a tragedy of it’s own that it takes this sort of horror to remind us to do this. What would our world be like if we faced each day with a reverent hush and extra-ordinary kindness?

  64. I feel like these are perfect topics to present together.

    A new life. A new soul to pour life and love into. A sweet child who has the potential to bring so much healing and to be and do so much good….a soul with a divine purpose.

    And the example of a soul who did NOT embrace his divine purpose. Although people excuse these types of acts with mental illness, I can never shake the thought that it all starts in the home. I believe my highest priority is pouring life and love into the hearts of my children, teaching them to live a life full of love and gratitude; taking responsibility to live and love well and protecting them from whatever I can that would hinder that.

    All people will ultimately make their own choices, yet I believe so much of who people are is a result of their home life. I wish that is the place that more help was offered… From the moment a mother gives birth.

    • I agree that parents need to show their children love and that a lot of a person is formed in the home, but mental illness can negate every effort a parent gives. I have four siblings. We were all raised in the same home with the same parents and the same rules, love and consequences. Most of us are happy, well adjusted adults with children of our own. One brother served time for child molestation. He has been diagnosed as schizophrenic and with borderline personality disorder. He also has epilepsy and 10 years ago suffered from a Grand Mal seizure which has left him with the mental capabilities of a child.

      So that is crimes are my parent’s fault because they didn’t love him enough? Absolutely not.

  65. This was so eloquent. It was nice to see your sister’s new baby and hear your thoughts about this tragedy. I agree that the best way to make a change is is to treat people kindly in your own life. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and was also compelled to write something about it on my blog:
    http://lovemarriageandababycarriage.blogspot.com/2012/07/illusion-of-safety.html

  66. What a beautiful, beautiful child. Thank you for sharing his picture in the face of all this horror.

  67. It seems like every time a tragedy happens people respond by trying to be a little kinder, even if just for a little while. I have to believe that those extra acts of kindness and concern count for something and send a powerful positive energy into the world. Every birth, every loving thought, every hand held is meaningful. Congratulations on the birth of your nephew! He’s a light to celebrate!

  68. Seems like there would be fewer tragic incidents such as this without the media circus, doesn’t it? I like your idea of trying to balance out the bad. :)

    I can almost smell that sweet baby head and feel that silky hair from here. Congratulations to all on beautiful Bobby. :)

  69. Glennon,
    I have read the articles aboout this shooting and just feel sad for the people that died,for the families that are mourning, for this sad boy who didn’t have anyone stop him and give him another way and for his parents who must be heartbroken about their son they remember holding in their arms just commited this hideous act and now his life is over. It is all too much…Life is ugly and hard sometimes but pictures of sister and that new beautiful baby boy bobby and stories about you bonding over his birth make the world seem a little shinier. Thank you for always sharing with us especially beautiful things like this. We love you G and your whole family!

  70. I have a different perspective on the shooter. I wish he had turned the gun on himself. What a waste of time for an already overburdened criminal justice system. My only concern is for the lives he took and the many he injured. I don’t care that he was mentally ill, anyone who commits a heinous crime like this is obviously sick. There is no punishment too great for him or someone like Jerry Sandusky.

    • I’ve had the same thought, at times when I heard of a murder/suicide: “why didn’t he use the FIRST bullet for the suicide, instead of the last one?” I seems as if that would save so much senseless pain.

      But it wouldn’t stop all the pain, because there is still to be considered the shooters’ pain-the pain that brought him to that pass, the pain he forced others to share with him. There is no pat answer to this, it WILL happen again, periodically, and wishing can’t make it otherwise. We can minimise the frequency, though, if we are as good to one another as we can be.

  71. What a beautiful analogy about the sacredness of new birth – and of where God has just been. Having worked as a hospice social worker, I couldn’t describe certain moments more poignantly than you just did! And thank you for the timely reminder of our personal accountability in reacting to life’s daily challenges! A great way to start the morning!

  72. First of all, congratulations on becoming an aunt and blessings to Sister and Brother. What a gorgeous baby!

    Secondly, thank you for your comments on the shootings in Colorado. My husband and I were trying to understand and articulate why we felt so very uncomfortable watching the news coverage last night. This is explains it. It is not a time for a circus.

    Love you, Glennon. Thanks for all you do.

  73. Aunt Glennon, oh, that title fits you well. Congrats to Sister and love to all of you.

  74. G, this was such a touching post. Thank you for giving us an idea of what Bobby’s first moments were like. I cry during episodes of a baby story on TLC so thinking about people I love so much having that experience is really special. Mandy and John will be amazing!
    As for the shooting, well I take a slightly different look at these types of events. Of course they are horrific and terrifying. I see things from a mental health point of view. I am willing to bet this guy, just like all those before him, had a severe and untreated mental illness. Every couple of months we have a national incident that people pay attention to for a week or so. We never look things like, was the accused being followed by a psychiatrist? We’re there community mental health services offered? Did he tell a counselor of his plan?
    I work in inpatient behavioral healthcare, I know how overwhelmed and underfunded the system is. I know that it would be hard for me to get treatment if I should ever need it. The state and local governments cut funding for mental health programs every year and every year more people get hurt. In my area there is one state bed per county! Yes only one person per county can be treated at a time. Be a mental health advocate because you never know when you’ll be a mental health patient.

    • Thanks for the work you do that is hard and so important and so thankless. I appreciate your insights. I’ve turned off most of the news. But the headlines that are calling for gun control strike me as less important than shining a bright light on mental health care. There are so few paths for those in need to turn to or for their families to seek when they know their adult children need help. And the results are often are tragic.

  75. Your new nephew, Bobby, shows us that in a world that is scary, crazy, and sometimes way more brutal than beautiful, beauty, blessings, grace and miracles still exist. He is our reminder that life goes on, that love remains. As the saying goes, Babies are God’s opinion that the world should go on. I wish a lifetime of blessings upon beautiful Bobby, and I wish you peace in your day today. P.S. What you did in going back to apologize to the gas station attendant was pretty special. Just shows, sometimes you can make people “not know what hit them” in a good way….life goes on, love remains.

  76. What a beautiful baby. Could just kiss on those little cheeks all day long.

    Thank you for the reminder that an apology with an explanation isn’t an apology at all.

    I love how you are willing to look at yourself, and see what you might have done and go back and correct. It isn’t easy, and there will never be a day we don’t do or say things we wish we hadn’t, but the willingness to keep trying to be the person we want to be, without justification or excuse, is huge.

    Great post.

  77. As always, nail hit right on the head. XOXOXO

  78. Glennon, This post about Bobby made me think of this beautiful Parable of Twins. An “earthly story with a heavenly meaning,” as we were always told in Sunday School. ( I have searched and cannot find the author of it). I found it when looking for poems about twins for my daughter-in-law’s shower. We welcomed twins into our family, a boy and a girl, on June 28th. I love this little story!

    The Parable of Twins

    Once upon a time, twins were conceived in the same womb. Weeks passed, and the twins developed. As their awareness grew they laughed for joy “ Isn’t it great that we were conceived? Isn’t it great to be alive?”

    Together the twins explored their world. When they found their mother’s cord that gave them life, they cried for joy. “How great our mother’s love that she shared er own life with us!”

    As weeks stretched into months, the twins noticed how much each was changing.

    “What does it mean?” asked the one.

    “It means our stay in this world is drawing to an end,” said the other.

    “But I don’t want to go,” said the other one. “I want to stay here always.”

    “We have no choice,” said the other. “But maybe there is life after birth.”

    “How can that be?” responded the one. “We will shed our life cord. How is life possible without it? Besides, we have seen evidence that others were here before us and none have returned to tell us there is life after birth. No, this is the end.”

    And so the one fell into a deep despair saying, “If conception ends in birth, what is the purpose of life in the womb? It’s meaningless! Maybe there is no mother after all.”

    “But there has to be,” protested the other. “How else did we get here? How do we remain alive?”

    “Have you ever seen our mother?” said the one. “Maybe she lives only in our minds. Maybe we made her up because the idea made us feel good.”

    And so the last days in the womb were filled with deep questioning and fear.

    Finally the moment of birth arrived. When the twins had passed from their world, they opened their eyes and cried for joy – for what they saw exceeded their fondest dreams.

  79. Those last 3 little sentences…so true. Exactly how I have been feeling for several weeks now.

  80. G- I love that you can put into words what I am feeling.
    Cookie

  81. <3 <3 <3

  82. Love you, G, so happy to meet Bobby. I’m so tired of the circus too, I wish that someone could have stepped in and helped the young man who did this, turned him around and told him he was loved, and possibly made him stop just for a moment before he acted. We need less guns and more love. <3 to all Monkees today.

  83. You put into words how I’m feeling about the shooting. I learned about it on Facebook and didn’t turn on the TV or the radio on purpose. I knew enough already.

    Congratulations on your beautiful nephew. Infants are amazingly wonderful, aren’t they?

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