Monday, November 16, 2015

A Letter to My Son: A Hard Few Days



Greyson has an email we set up for him. We send photos or messages to him often. After an especially fun day or a hard one. We document so that he might have a repository of anecdotes, photos, and other goodies to explore when he's older. I'm trying to be more mindful to write to him, and these past few days have prompted me to writing, and it was only through writing to him that I could begin to put my feelings into words.

I should write to you more here. In the busy everyday sometimes I forget. I am with you almost always...we practice the alphabet and sight words. You're doing so well learning to read. Those are the things that fill our days and nights, but there is so much outside our home. So many things swirling in the world right now that I know will have an effect on you well into the future. 

The last few days have been hard because some scary things have happened around the world. The city of Paris was attacked by terrorists. People who want to kill and damage as much as possible. Are their grievances warranted? Yes. The taking of lives is never permissible, but have these people been hurt? Yes. As much as we like to think of America and the west as somehow more civil or "ahead" of the rest of the world, terrible things are done to those all over the world for gain.

In times like these, though, even some people who are supposed to be compassionate...who are Christians like us, ...seem to lose their minds. They get angry and their anger and fear affect their decisions. There are millions of people trying to leave Syria to live elsewhere to escape terrorism and dreadful living conditions. To live, hopefully, better lives. To find sanctuary. Because of the attacks on Paris, a number of officials want to shut the borders of Texas and other states to keep the Syrian refugees out even though our President wants to help these refugees who are in danger.

This breaks my heart because I know, and I will always teach you, that just because someone is different: a different religion, a different race, a different gender. Even if it's the little things like dressing, speaking, or behaving differently from you, we are all human. We have more in common than we have differences. 

I believe we should be kind to all people and accommodating to help those who are in need. Some people feel that by letting these refugees into our country we're putting ourselves in more danger of terrorism. But terrorists will go where they wish...with an open door or without. I would rather be compassionate and a good helper, as I've always told you to be, than live in fear of what might happen to me. I would rather take the chance that something bad might happen than be hateful or turn a blind eye to someone's need. 

Even though it's scary sometimes, I choose to speak up for what I believe, Greyson, and this is the hardest thing of all. Not all of our family agrees with us. Not all of our church families do either. They would rather close the door than help because they think that all of these people are terrorists. That a "kind" of people are dangerous. I speak fiercely for you. I hope I can trust the compassion and logic inside me to say the right things. My feelings may fall on deaf ears, but I don't have to regret not trying.

I hope you are always mindful to be kind, to help, and to be empathetic.Think through all the possibilities in a situation, because the decisions we make are not always easy. They are not always clear. They are almost never black and white, but filled with shades of gray that make things complicated. But that's just the way life is. Do your best to be compassionate, always, and to put yourself in the place of others to understand them better.  

18 comments:

  1. This is beautiful, Andi. It seems like such a big responsibility sometimes to be shaping these little lives, especially when the world outside looks so crazy and scary.

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  2. Beautiful, just beautiful.

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  3. I definitely cried reading this. You are an incredible human being and a wonderful Mother. I hope you don't mind me sharing this because it needs to be read. Beautiful words, Andi. ❤️

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  4. This is truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. This is wonderful, and I'm so grateful that you shared it.

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  6. I thought exactly what you did -- if our choice is to live in fear or not, I choose not. We never know what the world will bring to our doorstep but we should spend the time we have here enjoying life and being kind to others.

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  7. Wise words, my friend. And what a wonderful gift to give to Greyson when he's older. You are a good person and a good mama!

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  8. What a good idea that you write to your son for when he gets older. And, a beautiful message.

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  9. Life sadly just hasn't allowed me time for blog reading lately, so I'm not sure what made me pull up your post. I'd truly just intended to go to my reader and mark all as read. Whatever it was that caught my attention, that made me read this, well, I'm grateful. This was beautiful. The whole email account with letters for your little guy is so cool. But this letter...just thank you for sharing it. Huge hugs to you, awesome lady.

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  10. Not only is the idea of emailing your child for future reading a stunning idea for a variety of reasons, but your email in itself is so moving, thoughtful, and telling of who you are in that moment in time. The writing is beautiful, and I know your son will grow and benefit and grow from everything you've written to him in the past, present, and future. The most beautiful post I've read during this month of giving thanks.

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  11. Wow. As I sit and reflect on what you have written to Greyson, two things come to mind. First off, man is that boy lucky to have you as a mother. Not only do you think of such amazing things like establishing an email account for his future self, but you take the time to explicitly share what is right and wrong without hiding behind euphemisms and other language. Second, you spelled out exactly what is wrong with this entire situation. No one is truly right and no one is truly wrong, and it will only be through compassion and understanding where the world will be able to heal. Your comment that you would rather be compassionate rather than live in fear. I wish so many others would hear this message and remember that.

    Thank you so much for sharing. This is just a stunning post.

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  12. What a wonderful idea!! One of my regrets is that I didn't journal consistently when my kids were young.

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  13. This is absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing.

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